• ATP World Tour Finals

Nadal brushes Ferrer aside

Ismail Vedat at the O2
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Rafael Nadal is aiming to win the title here for the first time © Getty Images
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Rafael Nadal may not be a fan of indoor arenas, so luckily for the world No. 1 he was up against David Ferrer as he chalked up yet another victory against his fellow Spaniard on his return to the ATP World Tour Finals.

Ferrer beat Nadal for only the fifth time in his career on Saturday in the semi-finals of the Paris Masters, but that statistic is vastly overshadowed by the number of victories Nadal has against Ferrer. Now 21 in total after a 6-3 6-2 triumph.

The Verdict

  • Though Rafael Nadal may have been victorious on his comeback to London, the world No. 1 was aided by the inability of David Ferrer to solve the problem of how to beat him.
  • Indeed Ferrer triumphed over Nadal in Paris on the weekend, but with Rafa possibly having one eye on the World Tour Finals, it was a defeat Nadal would have accepted in order for a few more days' rest ahead of the season-finale.
  • Nadal carries powerful groundstrokes and has great awareness around the court, whereas Ferrer becomes rather predictable with his baseline game and a lack of weapons to hurt the top-ranked Spaniard, explaining why he has a woeful record against Nadal.
  • Ferrer has his toughest opponent out of the way, and will look to bounce back against Stanislas Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych. Nadal meanwhile has never lost a match to Wawrinka and has a 16-3 record over Berdych, so becomes a clear favourite to top the group.

"I hit the ball too short in Paris. His movement today was a little less intense than he managed in Paris, and I think in Paris I made a few mistakes," Nadal told Sky Sports after the match.

This latest loss to Nadal will not hurt quite as much as the one he suffered in the final at the French Open earlier in the year - Ferrer's maiden grand slam final appearance - but nonetheless it is one that Ferrer will be scratching his head on after failing to take advantage of Nadal's dislike for the indoor surface at London's O2 Arena.

Nadal has 10 titles to his name in 2013, including the French and US Opens, but is bidding to lift the World Tour Finals trophy for the first time. While he believes the event should move to outdoor surfaces to be fair for him and other players, the 'King of Clay' is off to a winning start on his comeback to London after missing the event a year ago due to the knee injury which ruled him out for more than seven months.

In the early exchanges of the encounter Nadal was already finding the lines with his shots, and Ferrer could not prevent his fellow Spaniard from taking an immediate break for 1-0.

Ferrer, who relinquished his Paris Masters crown to Novak Djokovic on Sunday in the final, hit back to win the following two games and lead for the first time in the match. However, that was to be the only time he would be in front, as two more breaks from Nadal followed in the fifth and ninth games - which helped him clinch the opening set.

Nadal was now beginning to find his range and settled into his stride, and he took the first two games of the second set - with the break poorly handed to him after Ferrer placed his forehand long near the baseline.

A two-game lead quickly became five, as Nadal flashed a backhand winner past Ferrer at the net and into the open court to seize a second break.

Ferrer, in his usual manner, refused to give in, and he closed the gap to three by making it 5-2. One match point disappeared from Nadal on Ferrer's serve in the eighth game, but at the second attempt he sealed the win after another error from Ferrer on his forehand found the net.

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