rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » French Open PHOTOS: Nadal crushes Lajovic to set up Ferrer quarters

French Open PHOTOS: Nadal crushes Lajovic to set up Ferrer quarters

Last updated on: June 03, 2014 06:24 IST

French Open PHOTOS: Nadal crushes Lajovic to set up Ferrer quarters

     Next

Next

Defending champion Rafael Nadal dismantled unseeded Serbian Dusan Lajovic 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 on Monday to set up a French Open quarter-final clash with fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in a repeat of last year's final.

Eight-times champion and world No 1 Nadal improved his Roland Garros win-loss record to a remarkable 63-1 to advance having not dropped a set in Paris this year.

World No. 83 Lajovic, who had not previously lost a set on his French Open debut, quickly went 5-0 down and never recovered, also losing the first four games of the second set to love.

"I think he played a great tournament," Nadal said of his 23-year-old opponent,

"First time on this court (Philippe Chatrier) is never easy, the court is so big. I'm happy with the way I played today, I was able to control the points from the baseline, which is important for me.

"I look forward to playing against David (Ferrer), it is going to be a very difficult match," added Nadal, who ended the masterclass on his first match point with a thumping forehand down the line.

- Please click NEXT for more...


Image: Rafael Nadal of Spain returns a shot in his men's singles match against Dusan Lajovic of Serbia at the French Open.
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

     Next

Murray douses fiery Verdasco to reach quarters

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Andy Murray put a lid on a boiling Fernando Verdasco to defeat the Spaniard and reach the French Open quarter-finals following a sharp exchange with the umpire on Monday.

Tempers frayed in the seventh game of the third set after Verdasco's serve was called out as he was heading back to the chair for the change of ends.

The left-hander asked umpire Pascal Maria to call in the supervisor to deal with the rumpus, before Murray conceded the point, keen to move on in a fast-paced match.

"He missed...the return because my serve was to the line and he couldn't hit it with the strings," Verdasco told reporters after losing 6-4, 7-5, 7-6(3).

"So it was completely out of sense to serve a first serve again. I said to call the supervisor, and Andy said that it was fine, and it was a point for me."

Nursing the grudge as well as licking his wounds at failing in his bid to reach the Paris last eight for the first time, Verdasco said run-ins with Maria were nothing new.

"He's not the kind of umpire I get along with. I can tell you that," he bristled.

On court, Verdasco's blast at the umpire fired him up to break back but seventh seed Murray regrouped to prevail in a tiebreak, having shown flashes of speed and touch throughout the match.

Wimbledon champion Murray played down the incident, telling reporters: "It was a great serve and I mis-hit the ball. It didn't go in. Yeah, I gave him the point."

Please click NEXT to read more...


Image: Andy Murray of Great Britain celebrates
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Prev     Next

Ferrer beat South Africa's Anderson to advance

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Ferrer is one of three players who have beaten Nadal on his favoured clay this season, prevailing in straight sets in the quarter-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters in April.

Ferrer beat South African Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-1

It was Ferrer's second victory on the slow surface against Nadal, 10 years after the first one in Stuttgart in their first encounter.

With pop star Prince watching from the stands, Nadal played his part of King of the Clay almost to perfection, a few unusual unforced errors the exception in an otherwise extremely solid game.

Lajovic, the man who lost an Australian Open qualifier two years ago after blowing a 6-2, 5-0, 40-0 lead, surrendered all hope after just a few games.

Nadal, who turns 28 on Tuesday, powered to a 5-0 lead, allowing his opponent only five points before slowing down a bit, only for the Spaniard to step up another gear at the beginning of the second set.

A series of winners -- most of them forehands -- combined with Lajovic's catalogue of unforced errors, left the Serbian staring at a possible bagel.

His fine backhand helped him avoid the humiliation and even gave him a break late in the third set, but Nadal, who did not seem troubled by his back pains, had already turned his mind towards Wednesday's quarter-final against Ferrer.

- Please click NEXT for more...


Image: David Ferrer of Spain serves during his men's singles match against Kevin Anderson of South Africa.
Photographs: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Prev     Next

Petkovic pens dream return, makes quarters

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Andrea Petkovic's decision to hold off trading in her tennis racket for a career in journalism paid off on Monday as she reached a grand slam quarter-final for the first time in three years with a 1-6, 6-2, 7-5 win over Dutch qualifier Kiki Bertens.

Hobbled by back, ankle and knee injuries that forced her out of the tour for several months over the past two years, the 27-year-old German considered quitting tennis in 2013 to try her luck as a magazine journalist -- and even successfully applied for internships.

But the player who enjoys writing blogs during her spare time could not switch off the lure of returning to the courts and her perseverance to regain full fitness paid off on Monday.

"One year ago... I was very close to quitting... just I didn't like playing anymore. I hated it," Petkovic, whose ranking plummeted to 177 last March, told reporters.

"When I came back from my injuries, my footwork was off, my strokes were bad. My serve was bad. I hated it. That's why I wanted to stop.

"(But) my life and destiny still wants me to play tennis ... and right now the only thing that I care about is tennis.

"I do have a lot of interests besides tennis, but nothing really gets my passion so far. I'm I think at the place where I need to be right now. And now I'm here and it's a nice reward."

- Please click NEXT for more...


Image: Andrea Petkovic of Germany returns a backhand to Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands.
Photographs: Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters

Prev     Next

Bertens pulverised her opponent from the baseline in the opening set

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Having missed the claycourt major for the past two years, 28th seed Petkovic spent Sunday "stalking" Bertens on YouTube for the whole day and that ploy enabled her to survive the fierce onslaught of the Dutchwoman's groundstrokes.

In a tournament that lost four of its top five women seeds before the start of the second week, Bertens initially looked set to become the lowest ranked female, at 148, to reach the last eight here since records started being kept in 1983.

The 22-year-old pulverised her opponent from the baseline in the opening set but Petkovic found a way to mute the thuds and after squandering a 4-2 lead in the third set, she broke for a 6-5 advantage and raised her arms in triumph after thumping away a forehand winner on match point.

A player who picked 19th century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche "as the one who impressed me the most" -- despite his "dark and sad" writings -- will be hoping to pen a happier tale this week by reaching her first Grand Slam semi-final by beating Sara Errani.

- Please click NEXT for more...


Image: Andrea Petkovic of Germany (left) talks to Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands after their women's singles match on Monday.
Photographs: Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters

Prev     Next

Errani beats sixth seed Jankovic

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Battling Italian 10th seed Errani survived an 81 minute first set to reach the French Open quarter-finals on Monday with a 7-6(5), 6-2 win against Jelena Jankovic, the sixth seed from Serbia.

Jankovic was visibly wincing in the chair during repeated visits from the trainer who strapped and massaged her right thigh during the changes of ends, but had seemed rejuvenated as the pair went toe-to-toe in rallies lasting more than 20 shots.

She clawed back Errani's tiebreak lead before losing the set with a return to the net, giving Errani the momentum to take the second.

The Italian, who plays Germany's 28th seeded Andrea Petkovic for a place in the last four, bellowed with each ball she struck and let out a mighty victory roar on Roland Garros's Suzanne Lenglen court. 


Image: Sara Errani of Italy celebrates victory in her women's singles match against Jelena Jankovic of Serbia.
Photographs: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Prev     Next

Halep outwits Stephens

Prev     More
Prev

More

Romania's Simona Halep, the highest seed left in the women's singles draw, outwitted American 15th seed Sloane Stephens to reach the quarter-finals with a 6-4, 6-3 victory.

Stephens made too many unforced errors as Halep, the fourth seed, won through to set up a clash with either 27th seeded former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia or Czech 23rd seed Lucie Safarova.

With Romanian tennis great Ilie Nastase watching from the stands, Halep worked the angles to unsettle Stephens, who struggled behind her serve throughout.

Halep, who made her only previous Grand Slam quarter-final appearance at this year's Australian Open, prevailed on the first match point when Stephens, the last American in the women's singles, sent a forehand long.


Image: Simona Halep of Romania celebrates victory
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Prev     More