Nadal through as Ferrer bows out at US Open

Published by Tennismash

Rafael Nadal embraces compatriot David Ferrer after Ferrer was forced to retire from their first-round match at the US Open; Getty Images
Rafael Nadal gets past an injured David Ferrer – who played his last Grand Slam match – to reach the second round of the US Open.

Rafael Nadal’s progression to the second round of the US Open came at the expense of his countryman, rival, Davis Cup teammate and friend in David Ferrer.

Ferrer, a former world No.3 now ranked 148th, had dropped the first set and was struggling with a calf injury when he decided midway through the second set to pull the pin.

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The result sees Ferrer’s Grand Slam career come to an end; the Spaniard announced prior to the US Open that this will be his last major tournament.

Ferrer was hobbling off Arthur Ashe Stadium before ESPN interviewer Brad Gilbert chased after him and asked if he was willing to chat to the crowd in his last appearance at Flushing Meadows.

Gilbert then explained it was the first time in 208 Grand Slam matches that Ferrer has been forced to retire.

“I feel bad. There was pain. I tried to play but running to my backhand … I think it’s broken,” Ferrer said.

“But anyway I have a really good memories here in US Open. This is my last Grand Slam of my career.

“I’m so sorry because I can’t finish the match, but well, anyway, thanks a lot. Thank you very much. I will miss you a lot.”

Ferrer reached his first Grand Slam semifinal in New York in 2007 and repeated the feat in 2012. He finishes his career with a 32-16 record at the tournament.

As the fans gave him a standing ovation as he departed the court, Nadal was then interviewed after setting up a second-round meeting with Canada’s Vasek Pospisil.

“Am very, very sorry for him. He’s one of the closest friends on tour,” said Nadal, the world No.1, top seed and defending champion in New York.

“We shared amazing moments together, playing French Open final (in 2013), playing a couple of finals of Davis Cup, winning a couple of titles. He’s one of the greatest tennis players we had in our country, so it’s sad for me to see him finish like this.

“But he deserve everything because he’s a very hard worker, great person and fantastic player.”

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