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Rediff.com  » Sports » French Open: Ruthless Rafa fires his friend, Murray out

French Open: Ruthless Rafa fires his friend, Murray out

Last updated on: June 7, 2012 09:26 IST

French Open: Ruthless Rafa fires his friend, Murray out

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There is a reason why Rafa Nadal is called 'the Boss' by Nicolas Almagro and on Wednesday the ruthless claycourt king fired his fellow-Spaniard in his pursuit of a record seventh Roland Garros title.

-Sharapova cruises into semi-finals

Nadal defeated Almagro 7-6, 6-2, 6-3 to put another Spaniard David Ferrer in the firing line in Friday's French Open semi-finals.

-Bhupathi-Mirza in French Open final; Paes-Vesnina lose

Nadal called his friend Almagro "one of the best players of the world".


Image: Rafael Nadal
Photographs: Francois Lenoir/REUTERS

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'Rafa is the No. 1 of the World on this surface'

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His generosity, however, was nowhere to be seen on the court. He teased Almagro during a close first set and then moved in for the kill, finishing off his opponent with his 10th ace of the match.

Almagro has now faced Nadal eight times and eight times he was left gasping for air.

"I played one of the best matches I can play against Rafa, but he's the No. 1 of the World on this surface," said Almagro.


Image: Nicolas Almagro of Spain
Photographs: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Tags: Almagro , Rafa , ORafa , Nadal

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'I fought against Rafa, but he played a perfect match'

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"I knew that I would give everything I have to give because I know that against Rafa you have to play your best tennis.

"I wanted to fight all the way against him. I fought against Rafa, but he played a perfect match."

It was Nadal's 50th win at Roland Garros and, having not put a foot wrong, signs are the no one, not even Federer and Novak Djokovic who will contest the other semi-final, will be able to stop the rampaging Mallorcan from lifting the Musketeers' Cup on Sunday.


Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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'Winning a match against Rafa is almost impossible'

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Ferrer made it through to his first Paris semi at the ripe old age of 30 after bouncing out British world number four Andy Murray 6-4, 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 on a soggy day in the French capital.

So how did the sixth seed rate his chances of reaching Sunday's final?

"Winning a match against Rafa is almost impossible," he summed up bluntly.

At least Ferrer struck a blow for the 30-somethings. By joining Roger Federer, who turns 31 in August, in the last four, it is the first time since 1969 that two 30-year-olds have made it to the same stage at Roland Garros.

At 25, age was on Murray's side but unfortunately he failed to make that count.

The Briton, a semi-finalist last year, had never beaten a Spaniard on red dirt before Wednesday and the prospect of breaking that losing run against Ferrer looked bleak from the outset.

Along with Ferrer, Nadal and Almagro had also won 12 consecutive sets coming into the quarter-finals but by the end of the day only one man still held an intact record.


Image: David Ferrer of Spain
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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