Ferrer has no mercy on injured Nadal

Rafael Nadal was defeated 6-4 6-2 6-3 by fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in the Australian Open quarter-finals.

This defeat ends Nadal’s quest to hold all four Grand Slam titles at once. Nadal would have been only the third man to achieve this almost impossible feat. The last time it was achieved was in 1969 by Rod Laver.

Nadal had to take a early medical timeout after appearing to have an injury in his left hamstring.

The nine-times Grand Slam champion returned with his thigh strapped but was clearly in pain.

Seventh seed Ferrer showed no mercy on the injured Nadal as he had his shots reach all corners of the court to keep the pressure on Nadal.

Ferrer had lost 11 of his previous 15 meetings with Nadal, including the last seven.

"It's a difficult day for me," a glum-looking Nadal said afterwards. "Obviously I didn't feel at my best, I had a problem at the beginning and after that the match was almost over.

"I hate retiring. I hated that last year and I didn't want to repeat that," added Nadal, whose 2010 challenge ended at the same stage when he retired hurt against Britain's Andy Murray.

"I prefer we don't talk too much about the injury. First thing, I don't know (what it is) and also out of respect for the winner.

"It seems like I always have a problem when I lose, I don't want to have that image," concluded Nadal.

"It's not easy because Rafa is a gentleman and he played with injury as we are friendly," said Ferrer, who will play Andy Murray in the semi-final, after the fifth seed beat Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov 7-5 6-3 6-7(3) 6-3.

"I played aggressive, I tried to go to the net, but if Rafael was not injured, I wouldn't have won in three sets," he added after reaching his second Grand Slam semi-final, and first since the 2007 US Open when he also knocked out Nadal.

"It's one big (achievement) for me but it's not a victory really. These last two weeks have been unbelievable. I will try to do my best to win a slam," concluded Ferrer.

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