Rafael Nadal's bid for fourth Grand Slam win ends in Australian Open
Updated at 6:19 and 10:26 a.m.
There'll be no Rafa Slam for Rafael Nadal. David Ferrer ended Nadal's pursuit of his fourth consecutive Grand Slam title today with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 victory in an Australian Open quarterfinal.
Despite taking an injury timeout and receiving treatment three games into the match, Nadal could not overcome a left hamstring injury and frequently grimaced and winced throughout the straight-sets loss. Nadal afterward was reluctant to discuss the injury because Ferrer is a fellow Spaniard and Davis Cup teammate.
"I can say nothing about the injury. Seriously, I would prefer that I don't talk a lot about the injury. In respect to the winner and to a friend, I prefer to talk about the match. I think he played at a very high level," Nadal said. "I congratulate him and wish him all the best for the semifinal. I think he's having a fantastic tournament.
"If he keeps playing like this, he is going to have a good chance."
It didn't help Nadal that the match was interrupted for Australia Day fireworks.
"It's not easy because Rafa is a gentleman and he was playing with [an] injury and we are friendly," Ferrer said. "I got lucky because he was injured in the first set, but I did my game and I fight a lot...his injury, sometimes it's not easy."
Nadal was attempting to become the first man since 1969 to win four consecutive Grand Slam titles -- called the Rafa Slam because the other three were won in 2010. The last man to win the Grand Slam was Rod Laver.
A year ago today, injury forced Nadal out of the Australian Open in his semifinal match against Andy Murray. He was off the tennis tour until March recovering from a right knee injury, then won the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
Updated at 6:09 a.m.
Struggling with what appears to be a hamstring injury, Rafael Nadal dropped the first two sets of his Australian Open quarterfinal match with David Ferrer.
Ferrer, the tournament's seventh seed, won the first two sets, 6-4, 6-2 and leads Nadal 5-2 in the third.
| January 26, 2011; 5:42 AM ET
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