The World’s No. 1 tennis player, Rafael Nadal, saw his hopes of holding all four Grand Slam titles at once dashed when he lost in straight sets to fellow-Spaniard David Ferrer in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open on Tuesday.
Nadal seemed to have injured his left hamstring in the first set, having it wrapped before getting back out on the court. From that point on, he showed only brief glimmers of competing.
The loss comes exactly one year after Nadal was forced to pull out of the quarterfinals of last year’s Australian Open against Andy Murray. Since that match, he had won 25-straight Grand Slam matches, spanning the French Open, Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the first four matches of this event. He lost half as many sets to Ferrer (3) as he did during that entire win streak.
Nadal was attempting to become the first player since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four titles at once. Last year’s U.S. Open victory made him one of just seven players ever to win all four events in their career.
Injuries have become a major issue for Nadal. He’s had foot, knee, abdominal and now hamstring issues. This particular injury doesn’t appear to be something that will keep him down long, but anyone who has had a hamstring injury knows that they tend to linger and flare up once injured. At 23 years old, Nadal has already established himself as a great player. Hopefully, that’s what defines his career — not the seemingly endless string of injuries.