Madrid: Rafael Nadal came within two points of defeat before he fought back to progress into the last four of the Madrid Open.

Nadal had lost the first set and was trailing 5-6 on his serve and 15-30 down to fellow Spaniard David Ferrer on Friday when Ferrer missed a relatively easy shot to force two match points.

Instead, the No.4 seed saw his chance vanish, and Nadal recovered to take the game and force the set to a tiebreak, which he won. He then used his new-found confidence to brush a crestfallen Ferrer aside in the third set to win 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-0.

The clash between the two Spaniards was without doubt the main attraction of the day, especially following the exit of Roger Federer on Thursday and Novak Djorkovic's surprise defeat on Monday.

The main court was packed with spectators. Ferrer took an early break in the first set and moved into a 3-1 lead which soon became 4-1 as he held his serve. The advantage was enough to see him home in the first set. He then looked to have victory in his grasp but Nadal's fightback proved decisive.


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