Nadal's last loss on clay came to Roger Federer in May 2007. Before that, he had won a record 81 consecutive matches on clay, a streak that began in 2005.
He also has a large blister on the bottom of his right foot and only four days to recover for next week's Hamburg Masters.
"Two Masters Series without playing best conditions on clay is going to kill me," Nadal said. "The calendar is impossible."
Nadal had never lost at the Foro Italico, winning the Rome tournament each of the previous three years. The 23rd-ranked Ferrero took the Rome title in 2001, two years before he was the French Open champion.
Top-ranked Justine Henin cruised past Chan Yung-jan, 6-0, 6-2, fourth-seeded Jelena Jankovic defeated Peng Shuai, 7-5, 6-0, and Victoria Azarenka upset sixth-seeded Anna Chakvetadze, 1-6, 7-6 (1), 6-4.
Reid's son pleads guiltyto smuggling charges
Garrett Reid, the son of Philadelphia Eagles Coach Andy Reid, was sent to state prison after acknowledging he smuggled 89 prescription pills into a county jail.
He pleaded guilty to drug smuggling charges and faces a minimum of two years in state prison.
The 25-year-old Reid, however, could be released earlier to a less restrictive facility if he is accepted into a drug-treatment program.
Running back Rhodes is rejoining the Colts
Running back Dominic Rhodes, who was released last month by the Oakland Raiders, signed with the Indianapolis Colts, his former team.
Rhodes helped the Colts win the 2007 Super Bowl, rushing for 113 yards and one touchdown in the 29-17 victory over Chicago.
Commission does not vote on USC lease
The Coliseum Commission did not vote Wednesday on whether to approve a lengthy lease with USC.
However, the commission is expected to call a special meeting next week, possibly as early as Monday, to decide whether to approve the document.
Under the terms of the lease, USC would play football at the Coliseum for at least the next 25 years, and would allow the commission to use the school as the centerpiece of a naming-rights deal that would pay for significant renovations of the stadium.
The school has never had a long-term agreement to play football at the Coliseum, typically relying on one- and two-year deals.
The executive committee of USC's board of trustees has endorsed the lease, and the school's finance committee, which has the authority to approve the document, is expected to review it Wednesday.
The agreement gives USC veto power on an NFL team playing at the Coliseum, as well as board seats at the California Science Center and on the Coliseum Commission.
-- Sam Farmer
Recapturetheglory, fifth in the Kentucky Derby behind winner Big Brown, will run in the May 17 Preakness, probably making the colt the only one from the Derby that will challenge Big Brown.
Recapturetheglory jogged a mile and then galloped a mile Wednesday at Churchill Downs, where Big Brown also is training before leaving for Baltimore next week.
Former Georgia Tech quarterback Joe Hamilton resigned from his position at the school, a day after he was charged with marijuana possession, driving under the influence of alcohol and hit-and-run.
The charges came about a week after the 31-year-old was hired as the school's assistant director of player personnel.
Switzerland held Sweden in check for a 4-2 victory at the world hockey championship in Quebec City, Canada. Finland, behind a goal from Teemu Selanne, beat Slovakia, 3-2, in Halifax, Canada. The U.S. plays Germany tonight.
Quarterback G.J. Kinne, who was fourth on the depth chart at Texas, transferred to Tulsa and will be eligible to play in 2009.
Florida State offensive Daron Rose, who started 11 games in 2007, is ineligible for the upcoming season and will attend a junior college.
Eli Holman, the center who left Indiana last week after throwing a tantrum in Coach Tom Crean's office, will enroll at Detroit Mercy.
Georgetown sophomore guard Jeremiah Rivers, the son of Boston Celtics Coach Doc Rivers, will transfer to another school.