Rafael Nadal (Player Profile) is through to his first BNP Paribas Masters semi-final in four years, where he will meet defending champion David Ferrer (Player Profile) for the 25 time on the professional tour. Rafa holds 20 wins over his fellow countryman and has only lost on four occasions, the last of which came over two years ago. Check out the Nadal v Ferrer Head to Head.
The World No. 1 breezed through his quarter-final contest against long-time friend Richard Gasquet to book his spot in tomorrow’s semi-final. It was a comfortable win for the Spaniard, as he hit five aces and converted 5 out of 6 break point chances to secure the 6-4, 6-1 win in 67 minutes. The last time Rafa was in Paris, he lost in the semi-finals to Novak Djokovic in straight sets.
The Paris Masters title has been eluding Nadal until now – he came considerably close to lifting the trophy in 2007 before losing to David Nalbandian. If he captures the title, it may provide a valuable boost heading into the ATP World Tour Finals. The World No. 1 has made it clear that he intends on winning the year-end championships this time around after losing twice in the semi-finals to Roger Federer and in the 2010 finals, where he once again lost to the Swiss star. Now bidding to become the first player to win six Masters titles in a single season, Rafa could potentially swing momentum in his favour with two more wins in Paris.
In the other QF match, Tomas Berdych took the opening set after breaking Ferrer early on and maintained his lead to close it out 6-4. The second set was a more competitive one, with Ferrer fighting to remain in the running to defend his Paris title. He broke to a 2-0 lead over Berdych and at one point held a 4-1 lead before finishing the set 7-5. The third set swung in favour of Ferrer, who secured the deciding set 6-3 to close out the match in two hours and 4 minutes to reach his second consecutive semi-final in Paris.
Nadal leads the head-to-head 20-4 and is currently riding a seven-match win streak against Ferrer, including most recent encounter in the 2013 French Open final, which he won in straight sets. Considering Nadal’s incredible season following their last meeting, it is hard to imagine that Ferrer will be able to topple the top seed tomorrow afternoon.
Prediction: Rafael Nadal defeats David Ferrer in Straight Sets