PARIS - Rafael Nadal was in a difficult spot in the French Open quarter-finals.
For the first time in this year's tournament, the eight-time champion dropped a set.
And this had to be on Nadal's mind: His opponent, David Ferrer, could present real problems.
Not only is Ferrer ranked No.5, and not only was he the runner-up at Roland Garros a year ago to Nadal, of course but he also beat Nadal on red clay the last time they played each other.
So how did Nadal handle this test? Perfectly. From late in the second set, he won 10 games in a row, and 13 of 14 the rest of the way, to come back and beat Ferrer 4-6 6-4 6-0 6-1, setting up a semi-final on Friday against Wimbledon champion Andy Murray.
"At the beginning," Nadal acknowledged, "David was playing with a higher intensity than me."
After committing 28 unforced errors across the windy first two sets, Nadal had zero in the third, and only three in the last.
"When I was able to hit with my forehand," Nadal said, "I felt that I was in control."
It was Nadal's 33rd consecutive win at the French Open.