Competing at the Paris Masters for the first time in four years, Rafael Nadal was the top seed in the final Masters 1000 of the season in 2013. That season was one of Nadal’s best as he lifted two Major titles and five trophies.
of Masters 1000. Following an early exit from Wimbledon, Rafa won Montreal, Cincinnati and the US Open before heading out on a remarkable Asian tour. Following close wins over Marcel Granollers and Jerzy Janowicz in Paris, Rafa reached the quarter-finals and defeated Richard Gasquet to reach his third semi-final at this event.
Nadal faced his compatriot David Ferrer in the battle for the final. Since Monte Carlo 2011, Rafa had scored nine straight wins over David before Paris. Still, the elder Spaniard ended his losing streak and cruised to a confident 6-3 7-5 victory in one hour and 38 minutes.
Ferrer was the defending champion and returned to play at a high level a year later, knocking Rafa down after posting 29 winners and 20 unforced errors. David was the most aggressive and determined player, beating Nadal in the shortest distance by up to four strokes to cross the finish line in straight sets.
Rafa lost serve three times and converted one of seven break chances, missing out on a chance to contest the first Paris final in six years. David held 15 in the first game before Rafa ace down the T-line for 1-1. The elder of the Spaniards did the same in the third game to carve out another lead and forced Nadal’s error at the net to earn a break just minutes later and open a 3-1 gap.
Controlling the rallies, Ferrer held on in the 15th to widen the gap before Nadal brought the sixth game home in the 15th to cut the deficit and stay in contention.
Rafa Nadal praises Djokovic
Rafael Nadal lavished praise on his arch-rival Novak Djokovic in a recent interview.
“I think I have to say to Novak, he’s able to be super professional, to control his body, to hold the passion, doesn’t matter how things are going, he always keeps going till the end and that’s something very difficult, especially in a super long career after all the success,” Nadal said.
“To keep having the passion and love for the game, I think’s it’s something that I admire a lot. I’m really privileged to have the rivalry that we had over the years, I think we respect each other a lot and we push each other to the limit and kind of motivate each other to go even higher, so it’s great to be part of that there,” Djokovic said.