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The world no.2 and six-time champion Rafael Nadal thrashed his 6th seeded compatriot David Ferrer, 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 in an overwhelming display of raw aggression to progress to his 7th French Open final. The 30-year old Spaniard, Ferrer, came into this match in imperious form, having lost only a single set so far in this tournament and finally looked ready to give Nadal a run for his money. However, the world no.2 had other ideas as he made Ferrer look like a random practice partner, breaking his serve at will while sending out a clear and foreboding message to the two remaining semi-finalists.
David Ferrer made a bright start to the match, winning his opening couple of service games with consummate ease, while also putting Rafa under a bit of pressure. Nadal struggled to a 7-minute hold in his first service game, before having to save two break points in the next one. However, in that very game when he was required to dig deep, Nadal showed that he had a few extra gears up his sleeve while Ferrer was already giving every point his all.
Scraping together that hold in the fourth game of the first set set about a momentum shift as Nadal went on to win five games in a row without much opposition from Ferrer to wrap up the first set in just 39 minutes (low by their standards). Ferrer's first serve deserted him in the 5th and 7th games allowing Rafa to break to love on both occasions. With Rafa finding pace and accuracy from his stinging forehands, Ferrer was forced into going for that little bit extra, and raised his unforced error count as a result. Rafa looked in complete control of the match as he wrapped up the opening set 6-2, barely having broken a sweat.
A crucial hold in the opening game of the second set threatened to break Nadal's momentum as Rafa played a rare lose game consisting of three missed forehands. That proved to be an aberration though as Nadal quickly got his act together once again, winning the next four games on the trot to pull ahead 4-1 with a double break. Nadal continued to be 100% on break point conversions and it looked like nothing could stop the incredible 6-time champion.
The weather attempted to do the impossible, with what looked like a passing shower stopping play at 6-2, 4-1 in Nadal's favour.
However, the rain did nothing to break Nadal's ominous rhythm, with the Spaniard racing out of the blocks right away to hold serve to love, forcing his opponent to serve to stay in the set. Ferrer, though, managed to put a hold on Rafa's freight train, finally managing to hold his serve thanks to a series of well-worked points to give the world no.2 the opportunity to serve for the set. The Majorcan gladly accepted the offer, finishing off a clinical set with the help of a thumping forehand cross court winner to grant him a 2 sets to love lead.
Set 3 saw Rafa's freight train resuming normal service to break Ferrer's serve early with the help of some fascinating forehands. Meanwhile, Ferrer's desperate attempt to keep the ball deep on Nadal's backhand went completely in vain as he kept pulling the trigger at inopportune times resulting in a number of mishits. The world no.2 consolidated his break with yet another love service game courtesy some clever and precise serving. An insurance break in the fifth game hammered the final nail in Ferrer's coffin as the older Spaniard was simply overwhelmed by his younger compatriot's deadly combination of speed and power. Nevertheless, Nadal still did not have enough of this drubbing as he got yet another break to finally put an end to Ferrer's misery.
While Ferrer would no doubt be disappointed at his inability to make more of a match out of this one, his great opponent, Rafael Nadal, the 'King of Clay' marched into yet another French Open final, his 7th in total, in an attempt to bag as many titles. Nadal well next face the winner of the blockbuster match between Swiss world no.3 Roger Federer and the Serbian world no.1, Novak Djokovic.
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