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Nadal overpowers mentor Moya
June 06, 2007 20:55 IST
Last Updated: June 06, 2007 21:27 IST
Good friends they may be off the court, but Nadal showed no mercy to a player nine years his senior, overwhelming the 1998 champion with another awesome display of clay-court tennis.
The 21-year-old has not lost a set during these championships and is on course to emulate Bjorn Borg's three consecutive French Open titles in the 1980s.
Twenty-third seed Moya, the oldest player of the eight quarter-finalists, cut a forlorn figure long before yet another brutal Nadal forehand ended the contest on his second match point just past the two-hour mark.
"I'm playing better than I was last year, even if I did lose in Hamburg this time," Nadal said, referring to his recent loss to Roger Federer [Images] that ended a 81-match winning streak on clay.
Moya fought hard early on to stay in touch, mixing up his game with some clever angles in a bid to negate the Nadal forehand. Nadal struck first, however, a dipping forehand forcing Moya to fumble a volley into the net.
It was all square quickly as Moya hit back to break the Nadal serve after Nadal made a hash of drop shot.
At that stage the Centre Court crowd's wish for a real battle between the Spaniards seemed a possibility but Moya surrendered his serve tamely in the next game and Nadal made no mistakes to close out the first set.
Moya's last chance came at 1-0 in the second set when he earned two break points. On both occasions his backhand was found wanting as Nadal spun serves out wide.
A double fault gifted Nadal a break in the next game as Moya's game began to disintegrate under a torrent of topspin rom the other side of the net.
Moya held serve to trail 4-3 in the second before Nadal changed up a gear to roar through the last eight games and set up a last four clash with Serbia's Novak Djokovic.
The French Open 2007 coverage