Ferrer ends Nadal's hot clay court streak

Didn't play the right way, bemoans World's No 1

Ferrer ends Nadal's hot  clay court streak

Rafael Nadal's 30-match claycourt winning streak ended on Friday when the world number one was stunned 7-6 (7-1), 6-4 by fellow Spaniard David Ferrer who executed a perfect gameplan to reach the semifinals.

Sixth seed Ferrer, who had beaten Nadal on clay only once 10 years ago and was brushed aside by the muscular left-hander in the French Open final last year, relied on his devastating forehand to prevail in over two hours.

Nadal, who made an uncharacteristic string of unforced errors, was looking to recapture his Monte Carlo crown after Serb Novak Djokovic had ended his eight-year reign in last year's final – his last defeat on the slow surface.


Ferrer will next face world number three and Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka, who dismissed Canadian eighth seed Milos Raonic 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 in his quarterfinal.

"I have had to wait 10 years to beat him on clay. It was a long wait but I am pleased with the win and the way I played," Ferrer told Spanish TV. "I spoke with my coach and we had a clear gameplan but with Rafa it's always tough because he doesn't allow you to follow it. The good thing was I was able to deal with his attacks and stay strong physically for the whole match."

Nadal said he did not manage to stick to his own gameplan. "I didn't play the right way. I didn't play with the right intensity with my forehand," he explained.

"I played too short. I gave him the chance to have the control of the point almost all the time."

Asked if a back problem was responsible for his under-par performance, he replied: "No, no, the back is not an excuse. No, the back is in good shape. The physical performance is fine. No problem about that."

"I don't have to lie to anybody. After what happened in Australia it was little bit harder for me to find again the intensity, the confidence, the inside power that I always have," said Nadal.

Overcast conditions

Ferrer broke Nadal's serve in the second game, only for the top seed to break back in the third after a 16-minute dogfight in overcast conditions here at the Country Club.
Ferrer saw off a potentially decisive break point in the 11th game and the opening set went to a tiebreak, which he won 7-1 as Nadal collapsed.

Nadal continued to struggle in the second set, with a weak drop shot being easily retrieved by Ferrer as he broke for 2-1.

The world number six stole Nadal's serve again for 5-2 as the clock ticked past the two-hour mark. Nadal broke back for 5-3 and held for 5-4 but bowed out on the first match point when he netted a routine backhand.

After losing the Australian Open final Wawrinka, Nadal won the Rio de Janeiro tournament on clay before being eliminated in the third round of the Indian Wells Masters and losing in the final of the Miami Masters to Novak Djokovic.


"Even if I won Rio, I played the final in Miami, it remains something in my mind and in my game," said Nadal. "I'm going to fight to try to find that solution soon."

Earlier, Swiss Wawrinka, who did not play on Thursday because his third-round opponent Nicolas Almagro of Spain had withdrawn injured, got off to a slow start against Raonic, needing a tiebreak to pocket the first set. He was then unstoppable, outpacing the Canadian who showed his limits at the highest level.

Robson out

British women's number one Laura Robson will miss the French Open and Wimbledon after having surgery on her wrist, the 20-year-old announced on Thursday.

Robson, who has a world ranking of 64, has not played since losing in the Australian Open first round to Kirsten Flipkens and will travel to the United States for the operation.
"I wanted to inform my lovely supporters that I have decided to have minor wrist surgery at the Mayo clinic with one of the best wrist doctors in the world, Dr. Richard Berger," she said on her Facebook page.

"Dr. Berger is very confident that I will be able to return to the tennis court pain free before you even have time to miss me. Although sadly, I will have to miss the French Open and Wimbledon."

Robson got to the fourth round at Wimbledon last year, and reached number 27 in the world rankings in July. The French Open begins on May 25 while Wimbledon starts on June 23  

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