Defending champion Rafael Nadal reached the second round of the US Open in unfortunate circumstances with opponent David Ferrer forced to retire during his final grand slam match.
He was a break up on Nadal at 4-3 in the second set having lost the opener 6-3 in steamy conditions on Arthur Ashe Stadium but was clearly struggling with a left calf injury and decided he could no longer continue.
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Ferrer says that he plans to retire in Spain next season, and he told the crowd: “It was pain. I tried to play but I think it (calf muscle) is broken. I have really good memories here. This is my last grand slam. I’m so sorry because I can’t finish the match. I will miss you a lot.”
After a fine start to the match, Nadal’s forehand went awry in the second set, but his primary feeling at the end of the clash was sorrow for his compatriot.
Nadal said: “I’m very, very sorry for him. He’s one of my closest friends on tour. We shared amazing moments together playing French Open finals, a couple of Davis Cup finals. It’s sad to see him finish like this but he deserves everything because he’s a fantastic player.”
In 2013, Ferrer reached his only slam final at Roland Garros and climbed as high as world No 3 the same year.
Nadal moves through to second-round clash with Canada’s Vasek Pospisil. The World Number One will hope to continue with his fine form and defend his title.
Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is an avid Sports and Tech enthusiast. He loves to keep up to date with all the latest information and research on some of the most compelling stories.