DAVID Ferrer won the first match he played against fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal in 2004 and got the better of him again three days before their clash at the ATP World Tour Finals last night.
In between, Nadal has prevailed 20 times and normal service was resumed last night as Nadal made up for his shock defeat by Ferrer at the Paris Masters to thump the world number three 6-3 6-2 in little more than an hour.
The 27-year-old world number one did not even have to be anywhere near his best as Ferrer capitulated in a display littered with 33 unforced errors.
No wonder Nadal was not too concerned about having to face Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka 24 hours later.
"Physically it's no problem, I didn't have a very demanding match today," Nadal, who needs one more win to confirm the year-end number one ranking, said.
Nadal missed the London showpiece last year while he recovered from a left knee condition. On Monday, he called for the ATP to vary the surfaces on which the finals are played. But after a remarkable year in which he has won 10 titles since his February return, it wouldn't be a surprise if Nadal claimed the only big prize missing from his CV.
"For some reasons you have places that the conditions are a little bit worse for you," Nadal said. "But every time I am able to play in the World Tour Finals it is a special feeling. It's a positive start for me and I'm going to try and play a good match tomorrow and create another chance to be in the semi-finals again."