Well, I have been pretty spot on with my French Open quarterfinal predictions so far, I knew that Nadal would have a pretty easy match against fellow Spaniard, Nicolas Almagro. Even though Almagro showed signs of brilliance early on, he couldn’t handle the clay court dominance that Rafa possesses; Nicolas out 6-7, 2-6, 3-6.
Then of course, there was the second quarterfinal match between Murray and Ferrer, I called this one, with Ferrer winning in four sets. Funny thing, Murray showed no signs of back problems, so I do believe that his elusive pain stayed in the hotel room today; he did grimace a few times, though the hardworking Ferrer just kept his nose in front and played every ball as best as he could. I congratulate David’s win today, this would be his third semifinal appearance in his career and his first at the French Open.
The second semifinal prediction for Rafael Nadal  vs. David Ferrer : These two know each other, they have played Davis Cup together, they have trained together; they’re pals, they know each others games. The difference is, Ferrer has only beat him on hard courts and has only taken four sets from Nadal on clay; this is going to be a David (literally) versus Goliath situation here. I don’t foresee Ferrer actually winning their semifinal match, though he might get a set, maybe even two, just not the win.
Tactically, Ferrer is going to have to work hard, he’s going to have to move into the court to put pressure on Nadal’s ground strokes, especially his forehand; take it early and place it away from Rafa. David will need to try to move Nadal as much as possible, get him out wide while not allowing Rafa to get set and unload those deadly topspin shots. The key to actually consider winning for David, is to wear Nadal down, drop shots, left to right, slow the pace down; Ferrer will not be able to win by hitting normal groundstrokes. He just doesn’t have the firepower to slow Nadal down, especially on clay. The advantage for Ferrer is going to be his speed, he’s fast and move extremely well and like I’ve said in other posts, he has the fight within him to chase down every ball he possibly can.
Nadal obviously has his own advantages for this match, the obvious being that he’s won the darn thing 6 times, so he’s very well accustomed to winning on the red clay of Paris. The two have played close to the same amount of time, with Ferrer playing just 30 minutes more than Nadal this entire tournament. Though I have to give the freshness nod to Nadal, he has not had to have worked nearly as hard as Ferrer; we all know that Nadal likes to take his time between points (towel off, fix hair, adjust underpants, wipe off sweat, pinch nose). The amount of time spend actually playing and competing weighs more on Ferrer, because he plays faster and has longer points than Nadal, so David is going to have to get some serious rest in before his semifinal match.
To predict the outcome of the second semifinal match between the two Spaniards, I will have to go with the obvious winner, Rafael Nadal. As much as I would like to see Ferrer reach a major final, I just don’t believe he has enough to beat Nadal on this surface; Nadal in 4.
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