Paris Flashback: Rafael Nadal loses to aggressive David Ferrer in straight sets

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Paris Flashback: Rafael Nadal loses to aggressive David Ferrer in straight sets

Competing at the Paris Masters for the first time in four years, Rafael Nadal was the top seed at the season's last Masters 1000 event in 2013. That season was one of Nadal's finest after lifting two Major titles and five Masters 1000 trophies.

After an early Wimbledon exit, Rafa won Montreal, Cincinnati and the US Open before embracing a notable Chinese swing. Following tight wins over Marcel Granollers and Jerzy Janowicz in Paris, Rafa reached the quarter-final and defeated Richard Gasquet for his third semi-final at this event, facing a compatriot David Ferrer in a battle for the final.

Since Monte Carlo 2011, Rafa had scored nine straight victories over David before Paris, where the older Spaniard turned the tables to produce a reliable 6-3, 7-5 win in an hour and 38 minutes! Ferrer was the defending champion and played on a high level again a year later, toppling Rafa after hitting 29 winners and 20 unforced errors.

Ferrer was the more aggressive and determined player, overpowering Nadal in the shortest range up to four strokes to cross the finish line in straight sets. Rafa lost serve three times and converted one out of seven break chances, missing the opportunity of competing in the first Paris final in six years.

David held at 15 in the first game before Rafa placed an ace down the T line for 1-1. In game three, the older Spaniard did the same to forge another lead and forced Nadal's error at the net to grab a break a few minutes later and open a 3-1 gap.

In Paris 2013, David Ferrer ousted Rafael Nadal in straight sets.

Controlling the exchanges, Ferrer held at 15 to extend the gap before Nadal brought the sixth game home at 15 to reduce the deficit and stay in contention.

David saved a break chance in game seven and forced Nadal's mistake to move 5-2 in front before creating three set points on the return a few minutes later. Rafa repelled them all and rattled off five straight points to clinch the game and extend the set for a couple of minutes.

Nonetheless, David closed it with a beautiful volley winner in game nine for 6-3 after 35 minutes. Ferrer had to work hard at the beginning of the second set and saved four break chances to keep his serve intact. Nadal got broken at 1-1 after landing an easy forehand wide and wasted his opportunities in game six to fall 4-2 down.

Returning at 4-5, Rafa grabbed the first break in the last moment to level the score and extend his chances. Eager to finish the job in straight sets, David scored another break in game 11 and moved over the top with three winners at 6-5 to secure the first victory over Rafa after so many consecutive defeats.