Defending champion Nadal is yet to drop a set at this year’s French Open after defeating Nicolas Almagro 7-6 (4) 6-2 6-3 in today’s quarterfinals.
Although the score suggests a fairly straight forward victory, Almagro made the world no.2 work quite hard for it. Nadal couldn’t convert the first break point of the match at 5-5 and the first set went into a tiebreak. The 6 time French Open champion got off to a quick 4-0 lead which proved to be more than enough to wrap up the set.
The first break of serve came in the second set, when Nadal switched into top gear to go 3-1 up. Despite Almagro having a break back chance in the 7th game, he couldn’t capitalise and the clay court king secured himself a comfortable two set lead.
Almagro tried to apply some more pressure on Nadal, hitting some bullet single handed backhands and waiting to take his chances on a shorter ball from the defending champion. Unfortunately for him, Nadal’s defence was as solid as a rock and he got the well deserved break in the 8th game of the third set, just before serving out the match and booking his place in Friday’s semifinals.
In the other quarters, David Ferrer overcame British no.1 Andy Murray in a high intense clay court battle, beating him 6-4 6-7 (3) 6-3 6-2.
Murray, who hadn’t managed to beat Ferrer on clay in their three previous meetings, got broken in the fourth game of the first set. Despite reclaiming it in the 9th game, he subsequently dropped his serve once more to give Ferrer the lead in the match.
There was a glimmer of hope for the Scot after he captured the second set in a tiebreak, but the skies opened up and the half an hour rain delay seemed to have played in Ferrer’s favour. He took advantage of Murray’s lapse of concentration and wrapped up the third set in 50 minutes.
Murray seemed to be back on track after taking Ferrer’s serve in the opening game of the fourth set, but his run didn’t last very long as he gave it away in the very next game. The Spaniard then went on to take a 4-1 lead and broke Murray in the 8th game to sail to victory, setting up a semifinal encounter against his countryman Nadal.