David Ferrer did what is one of the tougher tasks in tennis today by handing Rafael Nadal a loss in Monte Carlo. Only yesterday, Nadal marked his 50th win in the principality, as well as his 300th win overall on clay. Nadal lost to Guillermo Coria in 2003 when he was 16 years old, then went on to win the title here a record eight times consecutively, before having his streak snapped last year in the final by Novak Djokovic.
Today the world No. 1 was uncharacteristically error-prone (27 in the first set, 44 total unforced errors), while his fellow Spaniard was focused and committed to attacking the Nadal backhand. The first set was long and hard-fought, with breaks of serve traded, but Nadal lost the tiebreak at 1, after an 85 minute first set. Ferrer was up by two service breaks in the second set before Rafa got one back, but couldn’t fight off Ferrer on his next attempt to serve out the match, which he did to win 7-6 (1), 6-4. Ferrer next faces Stan Wawrinka and will be looking to win his second Masters 1000 title.