|French Open 2014|
|Rafael Nadal  (ESP)||vs||David Ferrer  (ESP)|
ScheduleWednesday, 4 June 2014 at 16:00 GMT / 17:00 UK / 21:30 IST
VenueCourt Suzanne Lenglen
Last year, these two blokes met in the final. This time, they meet up in the quarter finals. I'm not entirely convinced that the result will be one way traffic as it was last year, but still, the worlds' top player Rafael Nadal must be feeling extremely confident about his chances, judging by his form last week. He'll be taking on his compatriot and friend David Ferrer for a place in the semi finals.
David Ferrer has had an up and down 2014. He won the Buenos Aires tournament back in February, defeating Fabio Fognini in straight sets, but in other tournaments, he's lost to players that he ordinarily should have put away with ease. Apart from losing to Wawrinka at Monte Carlo, and Djokovic at Rome, Ferrer has lost to players well below his 5th ranking. That doesn't augur well when your next opponent happens to be the best exponent of clay, probably in the entire history of the men's game. However, of most significance toward this game later this afternoon, Ferrer actually defeated Nadal at their last meeting; on clay at Rome a few weeks back. It was a quarter final, the result 7-6 (1), 6-4. Whether this gives Ferrer the belief that he can overcome Nadal on the clay court at Roland Garros remains to be seen. We'll know later today.
Ferrer's run through to the quarters has been solid, defeating Dutchman Igor Sijsling, and the two Italians Simone Bolelli and Andreas Seppi all in three sets, while his fourth round match against South African Kevin Anderson went to four. Nadal hasn't dropped a set so far, dispatching Robby Ginepri, Dominic Thiem, Leonardo Mayer and Dusan Lajovic with relative ease. Both Ferrer and Nadal haven't really been tested to this point, the switch is now turned on as we head toward the business end of the tournament and things start getting serious.
Based on form alone, it's really difficult to see anything but a comfortable three sets victory to Nadal. If you're putting money on him, don't expect much back. But as mentioned, Ferrer has beaten Nadal on clay, but he'll not only be up against Nadal's imposing and lop-sided result chart at Roland Garros, but arguably the greatest player ever to grace a clay court. It would have to be one of the tournaments biggest upsets if Ferrer can slide by Nadal, but with a ninth French Open title beckoning, I don't think Nadal will roll over that easily.
Many of you will be interested to know that these two have played each other 30 times. Nadal leads the count 22 matches to 8. I won't bother summarising any statistics here, as they've met so many times that it would be like reading tea leaves. What it does say though, is that both know each other's game inside and out, and they will be trying to use that knowledge to their advantage come game day.
I predict a three set victory for Nadal, with possibly one or two tiebreakers thrown in for good measure.