Vul­ner­a­ble? Bad back? Nadal keeps win­ning in Paris

The Covington News - - SPORTS -

PARIS (AP) — Maybe, just maybe, Rafael Nadal was a tad vul­ner­a­ble, the think­ing went be­fore this French Open.

He had lost three times on his beloved red clay al­ready this year, more de­feats than he ever had on the sur­face be­fore head­ing to Roland Gar­ros.

Then came an ad­mis­sion, af­ter the Grand Slam tour­na­ment’s third round, that his back was both­er­ing him and slow­ing his serves.

Well, leave it to the eight-time French Open cham­pion’s up­com­ing quar­ter­fi­nal op­po­nent — 2013 run­ner-up David Fer­rer, one of the men who beat Nadal on clay this spring — to set the record straight. “Rafael,” Fer­rer said, “is al­ways the fa­vorite.” Nadal cer­tainly looked the part in the fourth round Mon­day, when he won 18 points in a row dur­ing one stretch en route to beat­ing 83rd-ranked Du­san La­jovic of Ser­bia 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 for a record 32nd con­sec­u­tive vic­tory at the French Open. That broke Nadal’s own mark of 31 and moved him a step closer to a fifth straight ti­tle in Paris.

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