ATP World Tour Finals: Rafael Nadal v David Ferrer as it happened

Rafael Nadal beats David Ferrer in straight sets on his return to the World Tour Finals in London.

5 November 2013 Last updated at 15:54 GMT

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As it happened

  1. 1550: 
    Rafael Nadal

    So it's the perfect start for Rafael Nadal, who missed this tournament last year through injury. The Spaniard is the first man to win in straight sets at the O2 this week and will be a formidable opponent for anyone. Next up for the world number one is Stanislas Wawrinka, who beat Tomas Berdych yesterday. The pair will face each other tomorrow.

    We're taking a break from the live text now, but will be back around 2000 GMT to follow defending champion Novak Djokovic against six-time winner Roger Federer. What a match that could be. See you a little bit later.


    Rafael Nadal on BBC Two: "They are never easy games against David Ferrer, the number three in the world. He is great and having an amazing career.

    "He played a lot better than me in Paris last week but today I played a little bit better than him and it's important for my confidence to start with a victory after Paris.

    "There is no rest [for tomorrow] but the energy of this stadium is fantastic and hopefully I am ready for tomorrow against Stanislas Wawrinka."

    Tim Henman, Former British number one and BBC Sport expert on BBC Two

    "There was always going to be this predicament for Ferrer, who came from Paris having played in the final. There were just too many unforced errors from Ferrer. He gave it everything, but Nadal just had too much for him."

  4. 1540: 

    Nadal won an astonishing six breaks points out of seven, while Ferrer managed two from just three. It was the unforced errors that really did for Ferrer, the world number three making 33 to Nadal's 20. Ferrer also only won 39% of points on his first serve, compared to Nadal who won 81%.

    GAME, SET AND MATCH- NADAL BREAKS *Nadal 6-3 6-2 Ferrer

    Ferrer looks like another man as he races to a 30-0 lead on serve. But a double-fault followed by some Nadal genius - a looping forehand winner down the line brings it back level. Back come the errors from Ferrer who shanks a backhand wide and it's match point for Nadal after just under 75 minutes. But for the first time in the match, Nadal can't convert a break point and we're at deuce. A thrilling rally follows, drawing "oohs" and "ahhs" from the crowd as both players tease the net with an array of slices, but it's Ferrer who crumbles first to bring up a second match point for Nadal. And quite aptly, it's another error from Ferrer. Nadal clenches his fist and let's out a celebratory roar. Job done for the world number one.

    FERRER BREAKS Nadal 6-3 5-2 Ferrer*

    What's this? Ferrer leaves his best tennis to when he's a game away from defeat? A fizzing forehand forces Nadal into scramble mode and a brutal smash brings up 15-30 for Ferrer. Another deep backhand followed by the deftest of touches with a drop shot gives him break point and the game is his as Nadal can't pick up a second super drop. Ferrer is hanging on in there.

    *Nadal 6-3 5-1 Ferrer

    The contrasting body language of the players speaks volumes. Nadal is up and out of his chair like a rocket when time is called, the Spaniard jogging over to the ball boy with his towel, keen to get the game under way. Ferrer, in contrast, is slower of the mark, staring at the floor as he heads over to serve to stay in the match. That said, it's Ferrer who comes out on top in this game, the Spaniard keeping the errors to a minimum to win the game to 15. Nadal will have to serve it out.


    Jon at the O2, via text on 81111: One to watch out for. Watch Rafa between points and games, whenever he steps over a line, he always makes sure to lead with his right foot! Major OCD!


    Default Girl: Talk about getting his revenge for last Saturday. Nadal is wiping the court with Ferrer.

    Jodie O'Shea: Nadal is the best player I have ever witnessed play the game and I absolutely believe he will get more slams than Federer.

    Nadal 6-3 5-0 Ferrer*

    Just when it looked like Nadal had this match wrapped up with a bow on it, back comes Ferrer. The world number three rustles up his second break point of the match to the delight of the crowd. Disappointingly, he top edges the return and we're at deuce. A lame return from Ferrer gives Nadal game point and a fizzing serve down the middle proves unreturnable. Ferrer has crumbled and it's just one game to go for the world number one.

    Rafael Nadal
    Miles Maclagan, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "That is one of the final nails in the coffin. Rafa never looked like he was going to miss that passing shot."

    NADAL BREAKS *Nadal 6-3 4-0 Ferrer

    Lovely touch from Ferrer at the net as he caresses a drop shot over the net to inspire a warm round of applause. But the world number three is struggling to string two points together at he moment and once again finds himself 30-15 down. A couple of errors from Nadal allow Ferrer to rustle up a game point but back comes Nadal to force deuce and then set up his fifth break point. Ferrer follows a backhand down the line, but it's not deep enough and Nadal calmly whips across a forehand cross-court passing shot to take the game. Nadal's father knows it's business as usual - his head is buried in a crossword puzzle.

    Nadal 6-3 3-0 Ferrer*

    Nadal has no intention of loosening Ferrer's shackles with a booming first serve to bring up 15-0 to the absolute delight of the crowd. "Come on Rafa!" come the roars. Not much support for Ferrer, mind, which is shame because he could do with everything he can get right now. That said, he's still making a fight of it, and a rare forehand error from Nadal brings up deuce. But another Ferrer forehand sails long to give Nadal his fifth straight game.


    Cat Parkinson: Rafa's 1st serve has something extra on it. Good percentage and he'll be supreme.

    WalkaboutsVerse: Re serving: why bounce the ball at all? Better to look longer look at the target, yes?

    NADAL BREAKS *Nadal 6-3 2-0 Ferrer

    Awesome stat this. Nadal hits his forehands with over 3,000rpm of topspin. "I don't think anyone else can get that much on it," says Andrew Castle. Every shot that comes of the Nadal racquet must be such a handful. Just ask Ferrer who once again finds himself 30-15 down on his own serve. A double fault gifts Nadal his fourth break point of the match and another forehand fizzes long to give up the game. It'll be a long way back from here for Ferrer.

    O2 Arena
    Nadal 6-3 1-0 Ferrer*

    There's hardly a bead of sweat on the Nadal forehead as he sends another crushing serve down into the corner. Ferrer gets something on it, but it's not enough and it balloons out of court. The world number three doesn't let it get him down, though, as he forces deuce with some more controlled, yet intense, hitting. Nadal regroups and reels off the next two points to fend off the threat and take an early lead in the second set.


    Andrew Neill: If we moved Wimbledon into late July we could have an additional grass court tournament. Queens could be a Masters 1000 or Halle.

    Miles Maclagan, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Nadal has shown a lot of energy and has forced Ferrer into a lot of errors. Ferrer has to be more patient. Of course he should go after the opportunities, but there were too many moments when he took the high-risk play. It's such a fine line against Nadal."


    The first set stats make grim reading for Ferrer, the world number three making a whopping 19 unforced errors to Nadal's 10. Tellingly, Nadal has won 90% of points on his first serve and took all three break points at the first time of asking. Ferrer is on the ropes after just 34 minutes.


    "That's ridiculous," says Andrew Castle. And it was. Rafael Nadal is six foot to the right of the tram lines as he zips a backhand crosscourt. He then somehow manages to get to the other side of the court and whip a forehand winner up the line. Ferrer looks broken as Nadal sweeps through the game to break and take the set.

    Nadal 5-3 Ferrer*

    Ferrer has an absolute shocker. The world number three sends down a brilliant pass down the line and while Nadal gets it back, it sits up in the air perfectly for Ferrer to put it away for a clean winner. Sadly, he pings it long and Nadal is let of the hook for 15-0. A beautiful angled backhand sets up an easy overhead for Nadal and he takes the game for the loss of just a single point. Ruthless stuff from the world number one right now.

    Tim Henman, Former British number one and BBC Sport expert

    "After the US Open it was looking like Nadal had the number one ranking in the bag, but Djokovic has responded."

    *Nadal 4-3 Ferrer

    There are flashes of brilliance from Ferrer, the Spaniard forcing Nadal deep with a crunching forehand cross court and then pasting the return away for a clean winner. He'll need a few more of those. Nadal pegs him back to 30-30, but Ferrer perseveres with his plan of attacking the world number one's back and it reaps rewards...for now as he holds serve.

    David Ferrer

    Sue Q: Mum (born 1927) on Ferrer's walk, "He always looks like he's going on a route march."

    Lindsay Willis: Why is there no Masters tournament on grass? Several on both clay and hard court.

    Nadal 4-2 Ferrer*

    "It's very fine margins for Ferrer," says BBC Sport expert Tim Henman. "He has the right gameplan. He's trying to attack the forehand to open up the backhand." Unfortunately, it's still not working out for him. Nadal has it covered and races to a 40-0 lead. All Ferrer can do is mess around with the position of his strings with his fingers. Nadal offers up a second serve, but Ferrer frames it, the ball ricocheting up and into the crowd. Another game to love for Nadal.


    Mark Witchell: With the ATP having a big sponsorship deal with Brazil at the moment, it wouldn't surprise me if Rio was the next host.

    NADAL BREAKS *Nadal 3-2 Ferrer

    Some first class scrambling from Nadal gives the Spaniard another 30-15 on the Ferrer serve. Unsurprisingly, Ferrer is really going for his shots. Some will feel that's his only hope of winning this match. Makes sense in theory, but he's not having much success with it in practice. Ferrer pings a forehand just long of the baseline to bring up break point and then shanks another one wide to gift Nadal the break. Nadal didn't have to do much there other than hit the ball back.

    Nadal 2-2 Ferrer*

    Nadal gets his forehand, laced with oodles of topspin, working a treat to blast through the service game to love.

    Rafael Nadal
    Tim Henman, Former British number one and BBC Sport expert

    "I wouldn't put a specific timeframe on when the Tour Finals should move from London. It's been an enormous success since being played here. It's the highest attended single-week tennis event in history. While it's working, we should take advantage of that."

    *Nadal 1-2 Ferrer

    Ferrer is trying to build on the confidence from breaking back by coming to the net and attempting to take charge of the point. Nadal gives that short shrift, though, and moves to a 30-15 advantage with a crushing forehand winner. A couple of unforced errors from Nadal give Ferrer a break point, but now it's the world number three's turn to dump a drop shot in the net. Deuce. A couple more errors from Nadal and Ferrer breathes a huge sigh of relief as he holds. A nervous start from both players so far.

    FERRER BREAKS - Nadal 1-1 Ferrer*

    A clenched fist from Nadal as he moves to 30-15. It's a bit early for that isn't it? Ferrer clearly thinks so, as he reels off the next two points with some controlled hitting which forces the world number one to make mistakes. Break point Ferrer. A huge mishit off the return...Nadal scrambles to get it but Ferrer simply loops a cross-court passing shot over the net. Nadal makes contact, but it drops out. Ferrer hits back and we're as you were.

    Miles Maclagan, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "It's a big blow from Nadal. You cannot afford to the top players a lead. We know Ferrer will fight, but he has given the best player in the world a headstart."

    NADAL BREAKS - *Nadal 1-0 Ferrer

    A hush sweeps across the O2, as David Ferrer bounces the ball a couple of times before battering down his first serve of the day. The opening exchanges are characterised by heavy groundstrokes from the baseline to give Ferrer a 30-15 lead. But it all goes wrong from there as Nadal squeaks his way from side to side, deflecting back every ball that Ferrer throws at him. The world number three eventually throws in the towel and Nadal sweeps through the next two points to break. What. A. Start.

  34. 1419: 

    It's another huge crowd for this afternoon's match, a few in crowd bopping along to the tunes which are blasting out at the O2 as the players draw to the end of their warm up. David Ferrer has the pleasure of serving first. Let's do this.

    Miles Maclagan, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Nadal has been the master of adapting his game. When he first came on the scene he did not have much of a serve, no volleys, but today he can use his serve as a weapon. He is a man who can find solutions."


    And a word from his opponent David Ferrer, the world number three: "Every match, every week is different. Last week I played very well and maybe Rafael wasn't playing his best tennis. He's played very well on hard courts though. He won the US Open. He's the favourite tomorrow because he's the number one and he's Rafael Nadal.

    "For Rafa, it's one of the best seasons of his career. He won everything and if he wins two more matches he will be [year-end] world number one. What can you say about him? He hits good shots and has a good."


    World number one Rafael Nadal: "This has been one of the most special seasons of my career probably, this season was the most difficult thing that I achieved in my career. The titles are very special, but the grand slams are very emotional. You never know when the last one will be, especially after what happened to me last year."

    Russell Fuller, BBC tennis correspondent

    "Nadal needs two more wins here to be sure of the world number one spot, but he sounds like he couldn't care less. Titles are what matters."

  39. 1417: 

    The players have headed out on court, with Rafael Nadal sporting a bright blue shirt that matches the flooring. As if Ferrer didn't have enough to worry about when facing Nadal, he could find himself struggling to see where his fellow Spaniard is on court.

    You can watch live coverage on BBC Two - or in the video console at the top of this page - with Sue Barker in position alongside Tim Henman and Andrew Castle.

    You can send your questions for Andrew Castle and Tim Henman, who are commentating for BBC Two, using #bbctennis or you share your views on the match via the BBC Sport Facebook page.

    Also, check out the view of BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller, who you can hear right now on 5 live sports extra.

    Rusell Fuller
    Rafael Nadal fans

    Don't forget to visit our BBC Sport Instagram page to get behind the scenes pictures from London. You might even spot yourself on there...

  41. 1415: 

    There were winning starts for Juan Martin Del Potro and Stanislas Wawrinka on Monday, with Del Potro winning a terrific contest against Richard Gasquet 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 7-5. Earlier in the day, Wawrinka needed three sets to put Tomas Berdych away 6-3 6-7 (0-7) 6-2. Will we get two more corkers today?


    Matt McGladrigan: Why can't the WTFinals stay in London? Plenty of tournaments all around the world. London has three great ones a year, that's all.

    Gavin Wood: Nadal, most charismatic sportsman ever? Not a chance, I give you John McEnroe.

  43. 1412: 

    Do you think the ATP World Tour Finals should stay in London? Or should they go round the world? Can anywhere else manage to sell out the stadium pretty much for every session?

    And how do you rate David Ferrer's chances of beating Rafael Nadal this afternoon? Can anyone stop Nadal? Or can Novak Djokovic snatch back the world number one spot? Tweet us using the hashtag #bbctennis or lob over a text on 81111.

    You can also comment on our Facebook page and check out behind-the-scenes photos on Instagram.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at the 02 in London

    Today's gossip in the media centre is around where February's USA v GB Davis Cup tie will be played, with an announcement expected later today. San Diego is already being mentioned in some quarters. And tournament director Chris Kermode is apparently in the frame to be the new ATP chief executive, with a decision possible this week. On court, the debate is well and truly under way about where, if anywhere, the ATP Finals should move to after 2015. After a morning of rain in east London, Rio might get a few votes.

  45. 1409: 

    Just a reminder that Andy Murray is no where to be seen this week as the Wimbledon champion is taking it easy after back surgery. But here is the stellar line-up that awaits us this week:

    Group A: Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych, Stanislas Wawrinka.

    Group B: Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Juan Martin del Potro, Richard Gasquet.

  46. 1406: 
    David Ferrer

    A look at Ferrer's head-to-head record against Nadal won't give the neutrals much hope. He's won five but lost 20. Dig a little deeper, though, and you'll find that Ferrer is 2-0 up against Nadal on indoor courts. Lovely stuff.

  47. 1403: 

    Hello everybody and welcome to live text commentary of day two of the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals at London's O2 Arena. World number three David Ferrer is the man tasked with trying to stop the juggernaut that is Rafael Nadal steamrollering his way to victory this week. They'll be taking to the court shortly.

  48. 1400: 
    Rafael Nadal

    Astonishing. That's the only way to describe Rafael Nadal's comeback to tennis after he was forced out with tendinitis following last year's Wimbledon.

    The Spaniard returned in February having dropped to number five in the world - his lowest ranking since 2005 - and went on two win two grand slams - the French and the US - and eight other titles.

    "I can't remember a comeback like it in tennis," said six-time grand slam champion Boris Becker. Now back on top of the world - can anyone stop him winning an 11th title of 2013?

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