Nadal, Ferrer Repeat Final at ATP Barcelona
by Staff | April 25th, 2009, 7:47 pm

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal and fellow Spaniard David Ferrer will reprise last year’s final when they meet for the championship tomorrow at the Barcelona Open.
Nadal manhandled No. 8-ranked Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 6-2 in the first semifinal, but Ferrer had a decidedly more difficult time, forced to come from a set down to beat No. 5 seed Fernando “Gonzo” Gonzalez 2-6, 6-2, 7-6(5).

Nadal is looking for a fifth straight Barcelona Open title. Nadal’s only loss in Barcelona came in 2003 when he made his tournament debut at the age of 16.

The world no. 1-ranked Spaniard has won his past 24 matches on clay, and is 141-4 on clay since 2005. Last week Nadal raised the Masters Monte Carlo title in his first claycourt appearance of the year.

Sunday’s final will be the fourth all-Spanish championship match in the last five years.

While Nadal eased into the final against a Russian opponent who couldn’t consistently hurt him, Ferrer found himself on the punishing end of the forehand of the Chilean Gonzalez. As Gonzalez’s power and precision fell off, Ferrer broke serve twice in the second set and raced to a 5-2 lead in the third before holding off the Chilean in the tiebreak in the end.

“It was a crazy match that could have gone either way,” Ferrer told reporters. “When he double faulted, I saw a light. I played well, very aggressive, although I need to serve a bit better. I’m happy with my form and to have played well here. I love this tournament and its history.”

Gonzalez double faulted at 5-5 in the tiebreak before netting a forehand to hand Ferrer the win in an anti-climax.

Davydenko entered his semifinal with Nadal, half-joking that he didn’t have a chance, but truth be told there are few players who enter a claycourt match against Nadal with the belief they have a chance to shake hands as the victor.

“Rafa is the world No. 1 and the best on clay, it’s very difficult to beat him,” Ferrer said. “I’ll try to play good tennis, if not I’m dead, but I’m not thinking about whether or not I’ll beat him, I go on the court to play as well as possible.”

Ferrer lost to Nadal in three sets in last year’s final. His only claycourt win over Nadal came in their very first meeting in Stuttgart in 2004.

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33 Comments for Nadal, Ferrer Repeat Final at ATP Barcelona

Duro Says:

Fifth Monte Carlo, Fifth Barcelona, Fifth RG… Next year: sixth Monte Carlo, sixth Barcelona, fifth Rome, sixth RG… and so, and so on. He’s obviously gonna be the greatest ever.

Duro Says:

I don’t know where’s everyone. No one to discuss the Rome draw with. This is really the dysfunctional tennis blog. Is everyone leaving, like Von did? If so, I’ll join you gladly.

zola Says:

Duro dear,
we were in the other thread. where were you?

did you watch today’s matches?

btw, I hope your predictions for Rafa are right! but every good thing comes to an end one day. I only hope that Rafa’s great days take a while before it ends.

Tj Says:

2 times masters on clay court, unfortunately Murray has to land on Rafa’s side of the draw.

Watch out for Verdasco, he might give some trouble to Nadal, if he can squeeze pass Tsonga. Not sure how good Tsonga on clay.

jane Says:

Hi Duro – what do you think of the Rome draw my friend? :-)

zola Says:

I saw a bit of Verdasco vs Gonzalez. They are both very explosive. Actually I have put a QF for Rafa vs Verdasco.

Tsonga had some injury issues. I am puzzled by the French players. They have the only clay GS but they play better on hard? How can that be?

Tj Says:

From all the french players, I thought Simon’s game suit clay.

Verdasco has very good forehand. If QF between Nadal and Verdasco, it will be interesting to see how Verdasco can match Nadal’s game on clay or not.

Ra Says:

jane and zola,

I’m glad you both enjoyed that youtube clip the other day – I haven’t had a whole lot of free time to post recently.

So… yeah, I buy my underwear online (bear with me a moment), and occasionally I’ll receive an email for a sale or new product such as these which boast “cutting-edge Swedish design & craftsmanship”…

Maybe you all knew about this already, but I sure had no idea.

jane Says:

OMG Ra, I know; I saw those in a magazine and had to do a double take. What on earth? At least the “RF” sticks with basics like hats and whatnot. Sheesh!

zola Says:

that is super hilarius. Iheard some time ago about the Borg underwaer, but didn’t know about it in detail! Reminds me of a Seinfeld episode!

I showed that clip to my family. They all loved it. We are going to watch “Saturday night fever” one more time!

Verdasco played Rafa I think last year or the year befoee on clay and was smoked. Of course RG is different to Rome and Verdasco is now a much better player. I too, think it will be a great match.

Ra Says:


“What on earth?”

Or for that matter, “You cannot be serious!”… And I’m no fashionisto, but as someone who wears underwear I feel sufficiently qualified to say those are just hideous.

But “RF” has time to catch up to Borg, so who knows. Oh, and it’d be way too hilarious if Rafa were to someday release an underwear line.


No doubt, Seinfeld or maybe The Twilight Zone. I seriously thought I was seeing things for a second when I opened my email.

I’m glad your whole family loved the clip. I could probably stand to watch “Saturday Night Fever” one more time myself.

Tj Says:

Fed have better route to semi this time than MC. Hope he can really get to semi this time. Djoko will wait for him there.

Did you put Fed and Djoko at semi in your bracket?

zola Says:

I did not!
I put Ferrer and Djoko with Djoko going to the final. but I still have a day to think about it.

I wanted to put Fed. but he has not played on clay at all. At least last year he played Estoril. In Rome many of the top players have played more matches on clay than him. So I am not sure yet.

here is a link to my bracket.

I welcome any advice from you or other posters. My ranking went dowm fast after Fed, ferrer and Simon went down in MC(and they are all in the same half again!)

zola Says:

I wonder who has designed those. not Borg I hope!

I don’t think Rafa will sell underwear when he retires (hope not!). He has announced his plans already. He is going fishing!

Duro Says:

Jane, don’t forget that I’m 6 or 7 hours ahead of you, so if you post me 11pm I’m most likely sleeping then. I think that the draw for Novak couldn’t be any better. Only real tricky match should be semis with Fed, unless he loses before it ( to Ferrer, Simon, Stepanek, Karlovic…). Nole only has Wawrinka and Del Potro, but if he doesn’t mess it up (which I don’t believe considering his current form), semis with Fed is most likely. We could easily watch the same finals from Monte Carlo, or even title for Nole if Murray pulls the surprise!

Great Nadal Says:

Just enjoy the way Nadal plays.

zola Says:

Is there a problem with the site? It was down for the past few hours, citing a broken link.
It has been hsppening a lot recently. Just to let you know.

sar Says:

Novak Djokovic has hired Thomas Muster’s old trainer as his new fitness coach.

The third-ranked Serb started working with Gebhard Phil-Gritsch after losing to Rafael Nadal in last week’s Monte Carlo Masters final.

The move comes at a key point in Djokovic’s season. He is the defending champion at the Rome Masters, which starts Monday, then plays at home in Belgrade, followed by the Madrid Masters and the French Open, which starts May 25.

“(Fitness) is what I’m going to need a lot of in the next period, which is very difficult,” Djokovic said Sunday. “I play all three weeks and then we have the French Open, and we all know the transition between the clay and grass is very short. It’s going to be a very exhausting couple of months.”

Muster won three titles on the clay at the Foro Italico in the 1990s and won the French Open in 1995.

Djokovic was the only player to take a set from Nadal in Monte Carlo, but he appeared to grow weary in the third set before getting beat by the Spaniard, 6-3, 2-6, 6-1.

“I’ve been always trying to be a better player and to improve myself in any aspect, so as soon as I felt that I cannot improve or learn anymore with a certain member of my team, no hard feelings, but I have to change some things,” Djokovic said. “I was thinking about it for the last couple of months.”

Muster was renowned for his fitness and clay-court prowess, and Djokovic labeled his first week with Phil-Gritsch as painful.

“It’s a new program, a new system, a new person, so obviously a lot of innovations, but of course we didn’t take it from the start, from zero, because it’s too much risk to change everything right away. But I think we have a great base, and he has a good knowledge that we can use,” Djokovic said. “We are working a lot on endurance and strength in the legs, because clay requires a lot of endurance.”

Djokovic retired from his quarterfinal match at the Australian Open against Andy Roddick due to illness brought on by the heat. He also changed his racket this year, going from Wilson to Head. He has reached the final in his last two events, losing to Andy Murray at the Sony Ericsson Open before getting beaten by Nadal last week.

“I think things are coming together for me,” Djokovic said. “I’m (improved) fitness-wise and tennis-wise, and hopefully I can reach the most important level for the most important events in this period of the year, which are Roland Garros and Wimbledon. I’m back on the right path, I just need to keep it up.”

sar Says:

Novak Djokovic has hired Thomas Muster’s old trainer as his new fitness coach.

Kimmi Says:

This site is been dropping out a lot recently, what is the problem ?

Sean Randall Says:

Sar, sounds like a great move for Novak. I applaud him for making the change.

Zola, Kimmi, others, the site’s been having some serious server issues the last week. Sorry! However, I am told, those should be finally cleared up! (As I am not the tech expert around these parts I hope that’s true.)

zola Says:

Thanks Sean for clarification. Hope the problems are over soon.

I too think having a fitness coach is a great move for Djokovic. He is doing all the right things. Very exciting days for tennis.

Federer says his eyes are now on the FO title and No 1. he has been practining with Koubek ( a lefty) somewhere in Italy.

jane Says:

sar I posted that same link on the other thread with “Djokovic” in the title earlier today; I agree that it sounds like a positive change.

I am looking forward to Rome – bigger draw, more to get excited about I hope!

Tj Says:

No surprise, Nadal won Barcelona for the fifth times. He will now trying to get his Rome title back from Djoko.

Tj Says:

I hope Fed will get to semi, I want to see him play Djoko in semi.

Kimmi Says:

Federer has always been positive, even if his chances where not that great at RG with Rafa but he always been positive. Good for him. Hope he bounce back again. Its always wonderful to see Federer in full flow. He has tricky guys in the early rounds of his draw, so he needs to pass that test first.

He knows his problems has been serve and forehand. so I am sure he will be working on that. I fear his confidence will be shattered a little with loses he had recently, that can only come back with more wins.

yes Jane, looking forward to Rome too. Big draw here, we get a chance to see all best players fight for it.

And Sean, thanks for the feedback, it was disappointing when the site was out most of the time. And I too hope the problems are over.

Kimmi Says:

Duro, wishful thinking..Nole vs Murray final and Nole taking it. Wow ! very bold predictions but strange things can happen.

jane Says:

It’s good to have bold predictions innit? We wouldn’t want everything “scripted” now would we? Then you might as well just wait and rent the movie! Surprises are good!! Unpredictability and drama – great! :P

zola Says:

Nalby might need hip surgery!

hopw not! that can take him out for a bit and at his age it may not be easy to come back.

yes, Kimmi, it is good that Federer is positive. I said before that I like it that each year he gets a beating from Rafa in RG, but there he is in the final the next year, trying again. That is admirable.

Now I am going to take a note from Fed’s presser. He is saying that he has been pain-free and is feeling great, no back pain. Just for reference.

Kimmi Says:

“It’s good to have bold predictions innit? We wouldn’t want everything “scripted” now would we?”

As much as I like to be bold, lets be honest, its next to impossible to be bold on clay…I think you know what I mean.

The bold one I see… is Murray beating Nadal, the guy has only lost 4 matches in 4 or 5 years. I would love that, I think Murray has great talent ! that would make my day.

I read somewhere that Nadal has not been great this year, you know he got broken 4 times today with ferrer. Too bad ferrer does not have a big serve. Nadal needs somebody who can serve his way to victory like what Nole did in MC second set. But Nadal knows its difficult to mantain that high level, that way he is ready pounce when he sees any weaknesses…..

Kimmi Says:

Zola, Federer pain free is great, but he also said that in IW. I think his main problem now is his confidence, hence the forehand problems, serve etc…..

What he needs is to get that back again..

Twocents Says:


Let’s say Fed was 100% accurate saying “Clay is better for my back though, and I’ve been pain-free for a long time now which is great.” It only implies that he did not have pain in the practices in the past days. It does NOT mean that back or shoulder may not act on him in the days to come. More often than not, it will, as long as Fed stays on tour. Aging is no fun, isn’t it? All body parts fall off with times. Ready excuses? You bet. Denial? Big time.

Another side of view is: when was the last time before a tournament that Fed said he’s having physical issues? This is one stubborn and positive man. Imho, Fed really needs to take a page from Rafa book of “how to say you’re not fit in 100 ways befoe you step on court”.

Twocents Says:

Dear Von,

I hope you change your mind about leaving here for good. I’m a non-committing and erratic poster here, to put it the best way possible :-)). But I’m not the only one here on this forum missing you. This may not be the best forum, but way better than some others, imho :-).

Thanks for your support. Your passion for your player is admirable. Please come back.

“With a good conscious our only sure reward. With history the final judge of our deeds.”
JFK, 1961.

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