Compatriots Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer face off in the semi-final of the 2012 French Open. While second seed Rafael Nadal aims to be the only player in the Open era to win seven titles at Roland Garros, sixth seed David Ferrer aims to win his first ever Grand slam. Rafa is the consummate authority on clay court, a surface many have found impossible to master. On the other hand, fellow countryman Ferrer had never really sparkled in the French Open and this is the first time he has reached a French Open semi-final.
Head to head
The two Spaniards have met each other on court on 19 occasions. Nadal undoubtedly has had an edge over Ferrer, having won 15 of those 19 clashes. Quite recently they played each other at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 in Rome, where Nadal won 7-5, 6-0 in straight sets. In-fact, the only time Ferrer ever defeated Nadal on clay was in the Mercedes Cup, way back in 2004. Going by Nadal’s recent form, one cannot sincerely expect Ferrer to improve on that tally.
Route to semi-final
Rafael Nadal was at his ruthless best right from the first round. He did not even drop a set in the tournament as yet. He was drawn against unseeded opponents in the first three rounds and victory was only a formality. A 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 victory against Simone Bolelli in the first round was followed by an equally emphatic 6-2, 6-2, 6-0 victory over Denis Istomin in the second round. Rafa’s no-nonsense approach ensured quick victories against Eduardo Schwank and Juan Monaco in the next two matches. He was taken into the tie-breaker for the first time in the tournament by Nicolas Almagro yet Nadal progress was not hampered and he won 7-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Just like Nadal, Ferrer too had a smooth progress into the semis. He went past Lukas Lacko 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 in his first game
and trounced Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 in the next game. Mikhail Youzhny was brushed aside 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 in the third round and Marcel Granollers was hammered 6-3, 6-2, 6-0 in the fourth round. Ferrer was drawn against fourth seeded Andy Murray and many would have thought David Ferrer’s campaign had come to an end. But the Spaniard had other ideas in mind as he upstaged Murray 6-4, 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 in a game that lasted almost four hours.
Though Nadal remains the bookies’ favourite to win this clash and the title, Ferrer would nevertheless try his best to spoil Nadal’s party. Come Friday, these two Spaniards would be ready to treat the tennis loving world with some tantalizing tennis.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Gokul is a software professional from Chennai, India. An avid sports fan, he is a keen follower of Cricket, Football, Hockey, Tennis and Formula One. He styles his articles as razor-edge analyses of all the hot and happening events in the field of sports.