Dream shattered as injured Nadal exits Australian Open

  RAFAEL Nadal’s dream of winning four grand slam titles in a row ended with a whimper yesterday when his body failed him in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open for the second successive year.
 The record books will show the 24-year-old lost 6-4 6-2 6-3 to fellow Spaniard David Ferrer on Rod Laver Arena but the injury the world number one suffered in the third game rendered the match a no contest for most of its 153- minute duration.
 A rather apologetic Ferrer advanced to only his second grand slam semi-final, where he will face British world number five Andy Murray, who ended the run of Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov, albeit not without some tricky moments.
 Kim Clijsters remains favourite to win her first Australian Open after beating Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3 7-6, although Russia’s Vera Zvonareva, hunting a first major, will provide a tough semi-final opponent after she beat Petra Kvitova 6-2 6-4. Clearly hampered by what looked like a hamstring injury and with tears welling in his eyes at one stage, top seed Nadal still displayed champion qualities by refusing to retire when he was cannon-fodder for Ferrer. – Reuters
Click here for more on this story in our e-Edition on Thursday.

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