Special circumstances and very strange match at night session… Having won three majors in a row, Nadal  was on his way to overcome Rod Laver’s 1969 record of claiming four major titles – id est, after potential triumphing in Australia, he was supposed to win for the 6th time in Paris making something which rather couldn’t be repeated – 5 Grand Slam titles in a row. Nadal began that quarterfinal with 10 straight sets won against Ferrer , thus something like a ‘6-4 6-2 6-3’ scoreline was expected but the other way around. The first three games lasted 26 minutes due to grueling baseline rallies, great match could be anticipated, then Nadal mysteriously left the court trailing *1:2 to take a MTO. After the comeback it was clear that he was able to deliver just 80-90% of his abilities, he was sluggish and the speed of his first serve 10-20 kph below his standards. Who knows, maybe the Australia Day (26 January) helped in avoiding a situation that Nadal could retire – there were fireworks in the 2nd set to celebrate the AD, he had additional 10 minutes to check his body and rethink the strategy. He dropped 8 games in a row between *2:1 and *0:3 in the 3rd set, and since that moment to the end, the match was competitive again, like its beginning, but it was too late. Ferrer withstood break points serving at 3:1 and 4:2, and at 5:3 he notched arguably the easiest hold in the contest, snapping Nadal’s 25-match winning streak at Slams. “In general, I had a virus. When you have a virus, your body goes down and you have more risk of everything,” Nadal explained. “That’s probably what happened. That’s the simple thing.”
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