ATP Finals Flashback: Rafael Nadal loses second notable match to David Ferrer

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ATP Finals Flashback: Rafael Nadal loses second notable match to David Ferrer

For the second straight season, Rafael Nadal spent the entire year ranked 2nd behind Roger Federer in 2007, securing the third Roland Garros crown and adding 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 of the world's finest clay-courter, earning enough points to keep Novak Djokovic and others behind him and preparing an assault on the ATP throne in the following season. Competing at his second Masters Cup, 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 Masters Cup, both times being a set down! Nadal dropped only three matches after winning the opening set in2007, in the Hamburg final versus Roger Federer and two mentioned encounters against Ferrer, unable 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 the more aggressive player on the court, 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, while Ferrer had the upper hand in the shortest and mid-range ones, attacking first and keeping the points on his racquet.

In Shanghai 2007, David Ferrer defeated Rafael Nadal in three sets.

Rafa grabbed a break in the 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, responding 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 a Ferrer's forehand error to wrap up the opener.

David faced more troubles on serve at the beginning of the second set, hitting two winners to fend off break chances and bringing the game home for a crucial hold. Rafa had an even bigger 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 an error, pulling the break back at love with a backhand crosscourt winner 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 got broken again in game six, falling further behind but pulling one break back to reduce the deficit to 2-5 and prolong the action.

Ferrer wasted a match point on the return in game eight but held nerves a few minutes later to deliver a hold at love with a backhand crosscourt winner and topple world no. 2.