Rod Laver’s place in history is safe.Rafael Nadal, winner of the most recent French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open, was vying to become the first man since Laver in 1969 to possess all four trophies simultaneously. But he lost in straight sets to countryman David Ferrer, 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 early this morning.
Ferrer played well, but Nadal clearly played hurt. He took a medical timeout in the third set while nursing a hamstring injury that he played through for most of the match. He attributed his fragility to a virus that has been affecting him throughout the tournament, but credited his opponent – rather than blaming his injury – for beating him.
It’s the second consecutive year Nadal bowed out of the Australian Open at least partly due to injury. Last year, he retired early from his quarterfinal match against Andy Murray due to a knee injury that would plague him for two months. This time he battled through it, and avoided becoming the first No. 1 seed to retire from a Grand Slam.
Ferrer joins Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, and Roger Federer in the semifinals.
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