Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Ferrer Stuns Nadal

Just call David Ferrer Mikhail Youzhny.

The Spaniard pulled a Youzhny-like upset Wednesday morning at the US Open, saluting the second-seeded Nadal out of the tournament in four sets.

It was a disappointing loss for Nadal, who had advance to the finals of both the French and Wimbledon and had hopes of making a run to his first-ever Open title. His countryman Ferrer had a different idea, however, running down every ball Nadal sent to him and taking the match 6-7(3), 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-2.

Last year, it was Youzhny who pulled a similar upset over Nadal, beating the French champ in the fourth round and making his way to the semifinals before losing to Andy Roddick. While Youzhny crashed out in the 2nd round this year, Ferrer has built on a strong summer in which he's had wins over Roddick, Almagro, Isner (twice) and Stepanek. But none of those wins could compare to the 15th-seed's win over Nadal in the night session Tuesday.

(Ferrer's fitness gave him an upper hand in his win over Nadal at the USO. Photo by clareperretta via flickr.)

The draw now opens up a bit for Novak Djokovic, who faces another Spaniard - Carlos Moya - in the quarterfinals. It was Ferrer's persistent speed, consistency and determination that was the downfall of Nadal, who has been battling tendinitis in his knees throughout the summer. Ferrer finished the match with 48 winners and 38 unforced errors.

Ferrer has now won as many matches this year - four - as he ever has at the US Open, advancing to the quarterfinals for the first time. His match-up with fellow clay-courter Juan Ignacio Chela would be more suiting for the courts of Roland Garros, but they play for the right in the US Open semifinals, and a shot for their first Grand Slam title each.

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