(AFP) – Rafael Nadal showed no mercy towards an emotional David Ferrer as he eased into the quarter-finals of the Barcelona Open on Thursday with a straight-sets victory.
Ferrer is set to retire after the Madrid Open next month and made a tearful exit on what was his last appearance at this tournament.
But there was no room for sentiment for Rafa, who won 6-3, 6-3 to take one step closer to a record 12th Barcelona title.
After the match, Rafa said:
In the end it’s Ferrer’s personal decision. He’s on the tennis level to keep playing, he’s had a difficult year with injuries, his level of play is very high. It was me who had to give a major improvement. It was a tough game for me, I wanted to take a step forward, play with energy and a different attitude.
I’m happy, I gave everything I had, I’m very happy, it’s a dream to finish on this track. I am proud of losing against Rafa.
Rafa will face the winner of Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Jan-Lennard Struff in the quarter-finals tomorrow.