also of Spain twice already this year.
Last year Nadal won the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open back to back and appeared destined to win a non-calendar year grand slam in January at the Australian Open.
But a hamstring injury in Melbourne in the quarterfinals against Ferrer stopped Nadal just short 6-4, 6-2, 6-3.
Nadal gained a measure of revenge last week in his first clay court tournament of the year at Monte Carlo in the final round, when he would defeat Ferrer in the pairís second meeting of the year 6-4, 7-5.
Head to head Nadal leads Ferrer 12-4. Prior to his January defeat, Nadal had not lost to Ferrer since 2007.
Ferrer has only beaten Nadal once on a clay court. In 2004 the 29 year old Ferrer topped Nadal in the quarterfinals at Stuttgart, Germany 6-3, 6-7(3-7), 7-5.
Last year Nadal won ATP Tour clay court tournaments at Monte Carlo, Rome and Madrid before taking the French Open championship title.
Nadalís last match lost on clay was also his first and only match lost ever at the French Open; a shocking 6-2, 6-7(2-7), 6-4, 7-6(7-2) loss to Robin Soderling of Sweden in the fourth round.
Nadal refused to blame his knee tendonitis or his family problems at the time for the loss. It was reported in June of 2009 that Nadalís parents had separated.