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By Alberto Amalfi | Thursday, April 25, 2019

 
Rafael NAdal, David Ferrer

On a drizzly day in Barcelona, there wasn't a dry eye in the house as Rafael Nadal beat buddy David Ferrer in the 37-year-old Ferrer's final Barcelona match.

@bcnopenbs/Barcelona Open BancSabadell – Trofeo Conde de Godo

Parting was powerfully poignant in Barcelona.

Moments after Rafael Nadal wrapped a 6-3, 6-3 win over compatriot David Ferrer, he stood along with every fan in attendance, serenading the 37-year-old Ferrer with applause in his final Barcelona match.

Watch: Ferrer Feels The Love

When Ferrer's final forehand found the net, it marked the end of an era.






While the top-seeded Nadal extended his Barcelona winning streak to 17 matches charging into the tournament quarterfinals for the 13th time, the post-match focus was fixed firmly on Ferrer.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion joined fans packed tightly on a dreary day showering Ferrer with love.




The former world No. 3, who will retire at next month's Madrid Masters, was moved to tears by the rousing send-off. Ferrer, as as been his custom, removed his trademark headband and left it on the court.

A fitting gesture from a fierce player known for leaving blood, sweat and now, tears, on the court throughout his career.




One of the most die-hard competitors of his era fittingly went down fighting today.

Nadal banged out a series of errors breaking to start the second set then backed up the break.

The wild card broke back in the fourth game. Nadal responded immediately converting his third break point then confirming the break at 30 for 4-2.

As the ninth game waged on past the nine-minute mark, Nadal dispensed a parting gift to his buddy displacing him with the curling crosscourt forehand then firing a forehand down the line for a fourth match point.

Ferrer netted a final forehand then shared an emotional embrace with Nadal, who holds a 26-6 career edge over his former Davis Cup teammate, including a 6-0 mark in Barcelona.

Continuing his quest for a 12th Barcelona title, Nadal raised his record to 60-3 at the event advancing to his 13th Barcelona quarterfinal vs. Jan-Lennard Struff

The big-hitting German blasted past 2018 finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.

Despite serving just 48 percent, Struff came up with big serves at critical stages smacking seven aces and saving four of six break points.

Chilean lucky loser Nicolas Jarry continued a spirited run with bold shot-making in the final-set tie breaker of a 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (2) triumph over Grigor Dimitrov.

The world No. 81, who stunned third-ranked Alexander Zverev, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (5) in round two, takes on Daniil Medvedev for a semifinal spot.

The seventh-seeded Medvedev raised his record to an ATP-best 23-7 sweeping Mackenzie McDonald, 6-3, 6-2.

Roland Garros runner-up Dominic Thiem converted five of 10 break points sending Spain's Jaume Munar packing, 7-5, 6-0, in 90 minutes.

Two-time former champion Kei Nishikori dismissed 18-year-old Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, 6-1, 6-3.

The fourth-seeded Japanese will play Roberto Carballes Baena for a semifinal spot after the 26-year-old Spanish lucky loser stopped Cristian Garin, 6-4, 7-6 (2).


 

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