Rafael Nadal Will Cruise Past David Ferrer in Quarterfinals of Madrid Open

Matt Metzler@@MattyMetz03Contributor IIIMay 9, 2013

Rafael Nadal will take on David Ferrer in the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open.
Rafael Nadal will take on David Ferrer in the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open.Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal is ranked No. 5 in the Association of Tennis Professionals' (ATP) world singles rankings.

Not too shabby for the Spaniard.

David Ferrer isn't impressed, however, as he has the unique perspective of looking down on Nadal in the rankings.

Ferrer is ranked No. 4 in the world singles rankings by the ATP.

This quarterfinal matchup at the Madrid Open goes beyond world rankings, instead delving into the areas of nationalistic pride and past matchups between the two.

Both Nadal and Ferrer hail from Spain, the former from Mallorca and the latter from Javea. Nadal is 26 years old while Ferrer comes in at the age of 31.

While age isn't a huge factor in this matchup, it is certainly an element which could be relevant because the talent level of the two is on a relatively even playing field.

In such an agility-based sport like tennis, Nadal, five years younger than Ferrer, inevitably holds the physical edge in this dual.

But what about quantitative results, the bread and butter of tennis matches.

The last time these two faced off was in the final of the Mexican Open back in early March.

Nadal didn't just defeat Ferrer, he cruised past him, similarly to what he will do in the quarterfinals in Madrid come Friday.

Nadal defeated Ferrer 6-0, 6-2 in Mexico.

But these two have had plenty of encounters over the years, with Nadal coming out on top more times than not. You can be sure these two haven't forgotten about their recent past.

Ferrer has fallen to Nadal in their last four matches overall.

Nadal and Ferrer have competed 23 times head-to-head in their careers, with Nadal victorious in 18 of them. Out of those 18, 14 came on clay. In fact, the only time Ferrer has beaten Nadal on clay was in their first-ever meeting back in 2004.

Hint: The Madrid Open is played on clay. Clear advantage to Nadal here.

Undoubtedly, Nadal's confidence is high against Ferrer, but it should also stem from his recent play against others.

Nadal is fresh off a first-place finish at the Barcelona Open on April 28. A week before that, Nadal lost to the No. 1 player in the world, Novak Djokovic, in the final at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Youth, a clay court and recent success will propel Rafael Nadal past David Ferrer and into the semifinals of the Madrid Open.