Paris Flashback: Aggressive David Ferrer downs Rafael Nadal in the semis

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Paris Flashback: Aggressive David Ferrer downs Rafael Nadal in the semis

Competing in Paris for the first time in four years, Rafael Nadal was the top seed at the Paris Masters event, seeking the first indoor hard title since 2005. That 2013 season was one of Nadal's finest, lifting two Major titles and five Masters 1000 trophies.

After an early Wimbledon exit, Nadal won Montreal, Cincinnati and the US Open, losing the Beijing final and in the semis in Shanghai before taking a French capital trip. Following tight wins over Marcel Granollers and Jerzy Janowicz, Rafa reached the quarters and defeated Richard Gasquet for his third Paris Masters semi-final, facing a compatriot David Ferrer in the battle for the final place.

Since Monte Carlo 2011, Rafa had scored nine straight victories over David before Paris, where the older Spaniard turned the tables to produce a 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 out of the two, overpowering Nadal in the shortest range up to four strokes to cross the finish line in straight sets. Rafa lost serve thrice and converted one out of seven break chances, missing the opportunity of competing in the second final in Paris, the first in six years.

David held at 15 in the first game before Rafa placed an ace down the T line for 1-1. The older Spaniard did the same in game three to forge another lead, forcing 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 point in game seven and forced Nadal's mistake to move 5-2 in front, creating three set points on the return in the next one. Rafa repelled them all and rattled off five straight points to clinch the game and extend the set for a couple of minutes before David closed the set with a beautiful volley winner in game nine after 35 minutes.

Ferrer had to work hard at the beginning of the second set, saving four break chances to keep his serve intact. Nadal got broken at 1-1 after landing an easy forehand wide, wasting his opportunities in game six to fall 4-2 down.

Returning at 4-5, Nadal grabbed the first break in the last moment, leveling the score and extending 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.