Djokovic and Nadal set up dream semi-final in Montreal

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Seventh seed Richard Gasquet failed to avenge the last year’s Canadian Masters final defeat as he was again crushed by World no. 1 Novak Djokovic. The Serbian champion, who is bidding for his third consecutive Coupe Rogers title and the fourth in total, pulled all the strings from game one – the opener was out of the Frenchman’s reach after he suffered the second loss of serve and Nole went one nil up after merely twenty-five minutes. The one-man show continued in the second set where Djokovic again constructed a double break advantage and served out the match without delay to claim a sweeping 6-1, 6-2 victory and extend the head-to-head lead to 9-1. His stats were impressive as well – 80% of first serves were on target, whilst he won 77% of the subsequent points. In addition, the top seed prevailed in eight out of nine second serve rallies and hit 11 aces in fifty-two minutes of play.

This is how Djokovic described his outstanding performance. “As close to perfection as you can be. In every part of my game I did almost my best. From the start of the match I tried to dictate the play on the court and be in control of the rallies. I’ve done really well.”

Rafael Nadal also had a rather easy day at the office – he did a routine job against Australian qualifier Marinko Matosevic whom he dismissed in an hour and twenty minutes. Rafa started strong in the opener and got in possession of a double break cushion by 5-1 – he wrapped up the set soon after. 74th-ranked Matosevic improved in the second set, yet his eminent opponent took advantage of the fifth game break and ultimately grabbed the semi-final ticket by converting the match point number one. End score: 6-2, 6-4.

“I think I played well,” Nadal said. “I played a positive match. To win 6-2, 6-4 against a tough opponent, it is impossible to play bad. I am happy the way I played. To start the hard court season like this with semi-finals is a great start.”

Nadal leads the head-to-head score against his arch rival 20-15, whilst the Serb came out the winner of their only previous Coupe Rogers confrontation in the 2007 semis.

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