In their second match in just four days, top-ranked Rafael Nadal avenged the last week’s Paris Masters semi-final defeat by brushing aside countryman David Ferrer in the first round meeting in Group A at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.
The Spaniards shared a pair of breaks between them at the very beginning of the clash before the World no. 1 restored his one break lead and confirmed it with a hold to love to move 4-2 ahead. Rafa kept applying pressure on the opponent’s serve and earned himself a triple set point after striking a wonderful down-the-line passing shot in the ninth game. He went one nil up straight away after Ferrer, who won only 39% of the first serve rallies over the course of the clash, committed his third error of the game.
The contest soon started to turn into a nightmare for the Spanish number two as Nadal stole his serve twice by 4-0 in the second set. Ferrer kept fighting, though, and came up with a break point in the subsequent game, yet the chance went begging after he mishit a couple of returns. He then finally held a serve to get on the board and applied a more aggressive style in the following game which helped him to reduce the deficit. Riding the wave of momentum, Ferrer went 30-0 up at 5-2, but ended his own run by conceding a double fault, allowing Nadal to get into the rhythm again and generate a match point. The top seed was denied the first opportunity to put the match to bed, but capitalized on the second one after another one of his rival’s mistakes. Rafa thus completed his 72nd victory of the year to go top of Group A by winning 6-3, 6-2 after merely one hour and fifteen minutes of tennis at the O2 Arena. Also, he improved his impressive head-to-head score against Ferrer to 21-5.