Ferrer Falls To Nadal In His Last Match In Barcelona

David Ferrer played his last tournament in Barcelona

BARCELONA, April 26, 2019 (by Sharada Rajagopalan)

Thursday at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabaell was all about David Ferrer. The 37-year-old Spaniard has been giving lessons on competitiveness, grit and determination in each of the tournaments he has played in his swansong season. His match on the day against good friend and often rival Rafael Nadal was no different.

Nadal won in straight sets 6-3, 6-3. However, it was not before he warded off a couple of attempts by Ferrer to break him at the start of the first set and later found himself being broken back after, having taken an early lead in the second set. If this was to be Ferrer’s farewell in a tournament where he had played four finals, it was fitting it came against Nadal. At the end of the match, Ferrer was in tears, left his bandanna on the court as a mark of respect for the ground and for the tournament, where he had enjoyed considerable success.

In the post-match press conference, Spanish journalists asked Nadal about his emotions on beating his compatriot. Nadal replied, “He deserves much more. It has been an emotional day. Happy of course for the victory but very sad to say goodbye to one good friend and one friend [with whom] we shared all of these things… during our careers. It was a tough moment, but I really hope that he’s very happy with this decision, and he’s able to do whatever he wants.”

Nadal’s success, however, could not be replicated by the player who trains at his academy: Jaume Munar. The Spanish youngster lost in straight sets to Austria’s Dominic Thiem 7-5, 6-2 in the match preceding Nadal and Ferrer’s on the eponymous court named after the 17-time Grand Slam champion. Munar tested Thiem in the opening set, as he claimed a break back in the opening set but a second break of serve in the 11th game meant Thiem had another opportunity to serve out the set, which he did without any problems. This set the tone for the rest of the match, as Munar went down two breaks in the second set making it far easier for Thiem to serve out the match after one hour and 30 minutes.

The day was summed up by the two lucky losers – Nicolas Jarry of Chile and Spaniard Roberto Carballés Baena – who continued to make merry in the draw. Jarry upset 13th seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria after losing the opening set 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(2). Carballés Baena, champion at the Murcia Open two weeks ago, defeated the other Chilean in the fray, Cristian Garin, 6-4, 7-6(5) to advance to the quarter-finals.