MONTE CARLO, Monaco: Eight-time champion Rafael Nadal slumped to a shock Monte Carlo Masters quarterfinals defeat to compatriot David Ferrer on Friday (Saturday in Manila) while Roger Federer ß struggled into a semifinals showdown.
Ferrer claimed a famous 7-6 (7/1), 6-4 win to hand the top seed only his third loss in the principality just a day after Nadal had won his 300th career claycourt match and 50th at the Monte Carlo Country Club.
Meanwhile Federer, bidding to win the title for the first time, squandered his first 15 break points before finally coming good on a 16th on his way to a 2-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-1 defeat of French ninth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Defending champion Djokovic was then taken to three sets by Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain before the Serb second seed finally won 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 on his fourth match point and more than two hours of battle.
Ferrer came to the court with a 5-21 deficit against Nadal who last failed to make the finals in Monte Carlo in his debut year of 2003.
“When the opponent is doing things better than you, the normal thing is to lose. That’s what happened today,” said Nadal, who committed 44 unforced errors.
“I didn’t play the right way. I didn’t play with the right intensity with my forehand. I played too short. I give him the chance to have the control of the point almost all the time. He did much better than me, so I just congratulate him.”
Ferrer will now face off on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) against Australian Open winner Stanislas Wawrinka who clinched a 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 over Canadian Milos Raonic.
Nadal’s only other losses at the tournament occurred in the 2003 third round against Guillermo Coria and last year when he went down in straight sets to Djokovic in the final.
Prior to that finals, he had won eight straight editions.
“I’m not happy today about what I did, not very happy about the way that I played the second set after losing the first,” continued Nadal.
“I didn’t play with the right intensity at the beginning of the second. I gave him a big opportunity at the beginning of the second.”