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Rediff.com  » Sports » PHOTOS: Nadal bitten, then devours Ferrer to reach last four

PHOTOS: Nadal bitten, then devours Ferrer to reach last four

Last updated on: June 05, 2014 01:43 IST

PHOTOS: Nadal bitten, then devours Ferrer to reach last four

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Defending champion Rafa Nadal survived David Ferrer's early fury to advance into the French Open semi-finals with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-0, 6-1 win in a repeat of last year's final on Wednesday.

World number one Nadal, chasing a record-extending ninth Roland Garros title, had no answer to the fifth seed's pace on court Suzanne Lenglen in the first set.

But Ferrer, one of three men who have beaten the claycourt machine on his favourite surface this year, ran out of steam in the second, which he narrowly lost before Nadal devoured him.

Nadal won 10 games in a row - and 13 of the last 14 - to wrap it up on his first match point, setting up a meeting with Wimbledon champion Andy Murray of Britain.


Image: Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates victory in his men's singles quarter-final match against David Ferrer of Spain
Photographs: Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

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Murray snuffs out French hopes

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Briton Andy Murray ended home hopes by beating Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-1, 4-6, 1-6, 6-0 in front of a roaring crowd on Wednesday to reach his first French Open semi-final since 2011.

The last Frenchman standing in Paris sent the decibel levels soaring when he stole back the third and fourth sets but Wimbledon champion Murray was in a hurry to take the fifth and ensure the match did not go into Thursday due to the fading light.

Showing few sign of the back injury that kept him out of last year's tournament, the seventh seed controlled play from the baseline in the first set, although the 23rd seed gave home fans hope with some returns from improbable angles.

The Scot stormed to a 5-1 lead in the second, but took eight set points to close it out after the game was halted when a ball dropped out of Murray's pocket during play, sending both players to lobby the umpire before Murray conceded the point.

Murray, who reached his 14th Grand Slam semi-final, will play defending champion Rafa Nadal in the last four.


Image: Andy Murray of Britain reacts after winning his men's quarter-final match against Gael Monfils of France
Photographs: Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters

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Petkovic reaches first Slam semi-final in Paris

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Germany's Andrea Petkovic reached her first Grand Slam semi-final on Wednesday, thrashing 10th seed Sara Errani 6-2, 6-2 after a lengthy rain delay at the French Open.

Petkovic, seeded 28, was quicker to hit her stride in chilly, gusty conditions in Paris and despite losing her first service game she was the more aggressive player throughout.

Petkovic is appearing at the French Open for the first time since reaching the quarter-finals in 2011.


Image: Andrea Petkovic of Germany reacts during her women's quarter-final match against Sara Errani of Italy
Photographs: Vincent Kessler/Reuters

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Halep eases past Kuznetsova

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Romanian fourth seed Simona Halep outfoxed former French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia 6-2, 6-2 to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final on Wednesday.

Halep, junior champion at Roland Garros in 2008, will face Andrea Petkovic for a place in Saturday's final after the German beat former runner-up Sara Errani, of Italy.

Russian 27th seed Kuznetsova, who won the title in 2009 to go with her 2004 U.S. Open title, took a medical timeout after the first set and came back with her left thigh strapped.

She wasted break points early in the second set and made too many unforced forehand errors as Halep wrapped it up on the first match point when Kuznetsova netted a service return.

Not a hard hitter, Halep compensates for her relative lack of power with her tactical nous.

Prowling along the baseline, she moved Kuznetsova around with crosscourt shots, forcing the Russian to misfire.

She took the first game on her opponent's serve, only for Kuznetsova to break back for 2-2 as the Russian played deeper.

But Halep stuck to her strategy and won the remaining four games, taking the set when Kuznetsova sent a forehand long.

The Russian had her chance in the second game of the second set but she wasted her two break points with unforced errors. She had two further chances in the fourth game, but Halep saved them with an exquisite drop shot and a superb backhand down the line to hold for 3-1.

Halep, who converted six of her eight break points while Kuznetsova blew seven of her nine chances to steal her opponent's serve, fired a few stunning return winners to break again in the fifth game.

With the contest virtually over, Halep lost focus and served three double faults in the last game, but still managed to close it down having not dropped a set in the tournament, conceding just over four games per match.


Image: Simona Halep of Romania celebrates after winning her women's quarter-final match against Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia
Photographs: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

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