For the second straight season, Rafael Nadal spent the entire 2007 season ranked 2nd behind Roger Federer. The Spaniard secured his third Roland Garros crown and added three Masters 1000 titles to his name. Playing well on every surface, Rafa claimed the Indian Wells trophy and lost a thrilling Wimbledon final to Roger Federer.
The Spaniard confirmed his status as the world's finest clay-courter and earned enough points to keep Novak Djokovic and others behind him. Competing at his second ATP Finals, Nadal faced David Ferrer in the opening round-robin match and suffered a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 loss in grueling two hours and 41 minutes.
After four consecutive defeats against the younger compatriot, Ferrer found a winning formula for Nadal in the second part of 2007, ousting Rafa at the US Open and the ATP Finals from a set down! Nadal dropped only three matches after winning the opening set in 2007.
The first came in the Hamburg final versus Roger Federer and the other two against Ferrer, failing to keep momentum after the first set and bring the victory home. David fended off seven out of 12 break chances, pushing Rafa's second serve to the limits and securing six breaks to cross the finish line first.
Ferrer was a more aggressive player, firing over 30 winners and unforced errors. Nadal had more modest numbers, sprayed 35 forced mistakes and failed to follow the rival's pace after the opener. Nothing could separate them in the most extended exchanges.
However, Ferrer had the upper hand in the shortest and mid-range ones, attacking first and keeping the points on his racquet.
David Ferrer defeated Rafael Nadal in three sets in Shanghai 2007.
Rafa grabbed a break in the encounter's opening game and closed the second with a volley winner that sent him 2-0 in front.
The younger Spaniard scored another break in game three before Ferrer pulled one break back with a return winner at 0-3. David sprayed a forehand error to suffer the third straight break in game five and responded with his second break that kept him in contention.
Rafa grabbed the eighth game with a volley winner and held at 30 at 5-4 following Ferrer's forehand error to wrap up the opener. David faced more troubles on serve at the beginning of the second set. He hit two winners to fend off break chances and bring the game home for a crucial hold.
Rafa had an even more significant opportunity at 2-2, taking the opening three points but wasting all break points that could have sent him in front. Nadal paid the price at 3-4 when David forced his error to fall 5-3 behind.
The younger Spaniard pulled the break back at love with a backhand crosscourt winner in game nine to prolong the set. Returning at 5-4, David clinched a break that handed him the set and momentum, looking good ahead of the decider.
Nadal got broken in the fourth game thanks to Ferrer's forehand winner, who forged a 4-1 advantage with a hold at love. Rafa lost serve again in game six, falling further behind before pulling one break back to reduce the deficit to 2-5.
Ferrer wasted a match point on the return in game eight but held his nerves a few minutes later to deliver a hold at love with a backhand crosscourt winner and topple world no. 2.