Nadal overcomes Ferrer to reach French Open SFs, plays Murray next

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Rafa Nadal

The Wednesday’s quarter-final matches at French Open 2014 started rather late due to rain delay, but were completed before the darkness set in. Defending champion Rafael Nadal was the first to advance this evening by pulling off a fabulous comeback in the match against fifth-seeded countryman David Ferrer to enter the semi-finals and march towards his ninth Roland Garros title. The last year’s runner up looked fresher in the opening stages and broke to make it 3-1, yet the king of clay pegged back immediately. This did not dent Ferrer’s confidence as he got another chance to upset the favorite at *5-4 and he succeeded to close out the opener after producing an exquisite passing shot. It was the first set he has ever won against the compatriot at the tournament.

The World no.1 took the warning seriously and showed more determination in the second set, whilst the Spanish number two started to lack accuracy. The single loss of serve in this part of the counter occurred in the third game when Rafa got his nose in front and rescued three break back point some minutes later before holding to love and level the terms. Ferrer lost his focus and was completely out of sorts in the remaining two sets as the top seed raced past him by obtaining seven breaks in a row. Nadal wrapped it up to win 4-6, 6-4, 6-0, 6-1 and improved the head-to-head record which now stands at 22-6.

“I am rather happy to have been able to turn the situation around,” said Nadal. “I managed to pull through. Even though it was complicated, I managed to find solutions during the second set.”

Seventh seed Andy Murray progressed after a back and forth display versus the last French hope in Paris this year Gael Monfils, seed number twenty-three. The home crowd favorite recovered after an early break, but failed to stay in the opener when serving in the tenth game. The set two was a one-way traffic with the British player constructing a double break cushion before taking a two sets to love lead. Nevertheless, a twist in the plot happened in the third set with Monfils coming up with a pair of set points and while the reigning Wimbledon titlist stretched the service game to a deuce, he allowed the persistent Frenchman to claw one set back some moments later. Riding the wave of momentum, the local hero outclassed Murray in the fourth set by converting on two occasions and holding to love to take the clash to the distance. The play continued in spite of the late hour and it lasted only twenty-two minutes as the Scotsman suddenly regained full control of the proceedings to deliver the disenchanted adversary a bagel and record a 6-4, 6-1, 4-6, 1-6, 6-0 triumph. This is his the second time he survived a five-setter during his Roland Garros 2014 campaign.

“It’s definitely a big achievement, but that’s not what I came here to do,” said Murray. “I expect a lot of myself.  I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform well at these events, and thankfully I have done okay so far. Still hopefully a long way to go in the tournament.”

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