rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » Ruthless Nadal downs Ferrer to hurtle into seventh final

Ruthless Nadal downs Ferrer to hurtle into seventh final

Last updated on: June 08, 2012 21:43 IST

It seems no man or machine will be able to halt the unstoppable force that is Rafa Nadal after the red-hot Spaniard scorched his friend David Ferrer 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 to hurtle into a record seventh French Open final on Friday.

Nadal now needs to win just three more sets to become the first man to hold aloft the Musketeers Cup seven times and after pulverising a claycourt specialist such as Ferrer for the loss of just five games, he is once again proving to be unbeatable on red dirt.

A merciless Nadal teased Ferrer in the opening set, tortured him during the second before sucking the life out of the sixth seed in the third to wrap up victory with a forehand winner.

"You cannot expect to win this semi-final in this way against one of the best players in the world - it was my best match at Roland Garros this year," Nadal said after ending Ferrer's ordeal in an hour and 46 minutes.

"David deserved to be in the final too and is one of my best friends on the tour. I wish him all the best for the rest of the season."

Being Nadal's friend is turning out to be dangerous business at Roland Garros this year.

NadalHe allowed his "good friend" and "one of the best players in the world" Juan Monaco a measly two games in the last 16, he stifled his "buen amigo" and "one of the best players in the world" Nicolas Almagro in straight sets in the quarter-finals and there was a feeling of deja vu for Ferrer on Friday.

PROMISING START

Ferrer, who had already declared that "winning a match against Rafa is almost impossible" started off promisingly enough in front of half-empty stands on Philippe Chatrier Court when he caught Nadal on the hop to earn two break points in the fifth game.

The Mallorcan saved the first with an ace but Ferrer was left to rue a missed chance when he slapped a forehand into the net on the next.

Still it looked like he had the right ideas, dragging his baseline-loving opponent into the net at every opportunity.

But it was not long before John McEnroe's prediction that Ferrer was a "middleweight playing against a heavyweight" became apparent as nothing gets Nadal more fired up than when he is under attack.

He broke Ferrer to love in the next game, and then again two games later before wrapping up the set when the sixth seed dragged a backhand wide.

Ferrer opted to swap his white shirt at the end of the first set for an even brighter version of the hot-pink one being modelled by Nadal. But if Spain's second-best claycourter thought wearing similar gear would help him to match Nadal's game, he was sorely mistaken.

Nadal summed up his iron will to win every point on offer during an extraordinary 34-shot exchange at 1-1, 30-30 on Ferrer's serve in the second set.

SHELL-SHOCKED FERRER

Chasing after a Ferrer backhand, Nadal fell to his bottom but still managed to hit a backhand dropshot, bounced back on his feet to hit a lob and then pumped his fist after watching his opponent smack the ball into the net.

It was no wonder a shell-shocked Ferrer looked crushed.

He lost the next point to drop his serve and a 55-minute rain break two games later only served to prolong his ordeal.

As if winning a point while perched on his bottom was not enough, Nadal performed a soaring 360-degree pirouette to hit a winning volley with his back turned to the net to win another dazzling exchange.

Sinew-stretching rallies followed tendon-twisting exchanges but no matter what Ferrer tried, Nadal went on, and on, and on.

The man who has an infinite supply of energy stormed into the final with a perfect 18-0 sets record, dropping just 35 games in six matches.

Nadal's win-loss record at Roland Garros now stands at 51-1 and the odds are that come Sunday, whether he meets 2009 champion Roger Federer or world number one Novak Djokovic, that record will change to 52-1.

"I'm very happy to be in the final of Roland Garros. There is no secret. I've worked hard all my life to enjoy moments like today. I feel good," said Nadal.

Source:
© Copyright 2013 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.