Reigning champion Rafael Nadal booked his spot in the French Open 2014 quarter-finals following an express triumph over World no. 73 Dusan Lajovic of Serbia. The fourth round encounter at the Court Philippe Chatrier was a one-man show all the way with the top-ranked Spaniard showcasing his dominance from the very beginning. He thus steamrolled to a 5-0 lead in the opener and nearly delivered the unseeded opponent a bagel, yet the latter rescued the initial set point to eventually get on the board. Rafa closed out the set in the subsequent game and won the next four of them to love to construct a 4-0 advantage in the set number two. Lajovic then held a couple of serves in a row and created a triple break point at 5-2*, yet Nadal stepped it up a notch to obtain a double set cushion without delay. A gulf of class between them was also evident in the third set where the 23-year-old Serb did break the top seed for the first time, but surrendered all of his serves as well as the match in an hour and thirty-three minutes of tennis. The eight-time Roland Garros titlist won 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 to set up a quarter-final clash against countryman David Ferrer.
The Spanish number two and Kevin Anderson had already met a year ago at the same stage of French Open when Ferrer swept the South African off the court by dropping no more than five games in total. While his victory was not as emphatic this time around, the fifth seed gave the rival little chance to stamp his authority on the proceedings. After falling two sets behind, the nineteenth-seeded Johannesburg native was handed a lifeline after an assured performance in the third-set tie-break, but was left helpless in the fourth one as the 2013 runner-up hurried to wrap it up and reach his tenth consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final by winning 6-3, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-1.
Seventh-seeded Andy Murray needed to battle past Fernando Verdasco and did that in a convincing manner by sending the adversary home in straight sets. While the 24th-seeded Spaniard neutralized an early break in the opener, he suffered another loss of serve towards the end of the set which the reigning king of Wimbledon put to bed by holding to love. In the second one the British hope gifted the rival no chances to break the deadlock, whilst he converted in the eleventh game and turned in the set point number three next. The following set again went according to the favorite’s plans as he broke in the opening game and posed a constant threat on Verdasco’s serve, yet the latter showed real fighting spirit to fend off ten break points before clawing back to make it 4-4. However, he failed to unsettle Murray who had an upper hand in the ensuing tie-break where he created a triple match point and buried a smash to complete a 6-4, 7-5, 7-6 (3) victory. His quarter-final challenger will be Gael Monfils, the only Frenchman left in the tournament. The 23rd seed defeated Guillermo Garcia Lopez of Spain 6-0, 6-2, 7-5.
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