Confident looking David Ferrer made his tenth straight Grand Slam quarter-final on Monday beating South African Kevin Anderson to set up an all-Spain showdown with Rafael Nadal. In other matches on Monday, which decided the quarterfinal line up; Milos Raonic defeated Marcel Granollers to face Novak Djokovic and crowd entertainer Gael Monfils had an easy victory against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez to meet Andy Murray. In their fourth round matches, Murray beat Fernando Verdasco while Nadal outplayed Dusan Lajovic. Among women; Simona Halep and Sara Errani made the quarterfinal entries and while Halep will take on Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarterfinal, Errani will face Andrea Petkovic.
Ferrer is on record to enter every grand slam quarterfinal since 2011 US Open and there were no indications that his fourth round opponent, Kevin Anderson of South Africa, would upset the applecart. Incidentally, Ferrer had met Anderson at the same stage last year but the world no. 19 proved no match to Ferrer in a straight sets defeat. This year Anderson took a set off Ferrer but finally lost 3-6, 3-6, 7-6, 1-6. The match began ominously for Ferrer with Anderson breaking him early in the first set. But the Spaniard broke back soon enough and ran away to take the first set 6-3. Ferrer also took the second 6-3 but Anderson rallied in the third and broke Ferrer to lead 3-1. Though Ferrer broke back, Anderson persisted in forcing a tie-break. Ferrer did his best but the determined Anderson pocketed the third set 7-6. This was as far as Anderson could go as Ferrer’s attacking game in the fourth set. He broke Andersons’s service twice, before taking the set 6-1. Ferrer now faces Rafael Nadal for a place in the semifinal.
Canada’s Milos Raonic became the first man from his country to advance to the last eight of a Grand Slam in Open era by beating Marcel Granollers of Spain 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 in the fourth round. Raonic now has a tough job at hand as he faces former world No.1 Novak Djokovic. Although Raonic has become famous for his aggression against his opponents, Djokovic is a cut above the rest and with his current form, odds are stacked heavily against Raonic but the Canadian is philosophical about the prospect of that game.
Gael Monfils played brilliant tennis against a guy, who had beaten Stan Wawrinka in the first round. On Monday at the Philippe Chatrier Court, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez looked miserable in losing to Frenchman Monfils in straight sets 0-6, 2-6, 5-7. The first two sets of the match signified Monfils dominance to the hilt but the Spaniard showed some fight in the third. Both players committed silly errors on crunch points, before Monfils broke the Spaniard’s serve at 5-5 and then served for the set. Monfils next takes on Andy Murray for a place in the semifinal. Murray has had a good tournament so far and played some tough matches. For someone, with a dismal clay court record, Murray’s tenacity at Roland Garros is praiseworthy. After his survival in the nerve-wrecking encounter with Philipp Kohlschreiber, Murray’s confidence has soared and It reflected in his 6-4, 7-5, 7-6 victory over Spain’s Fernando Verdasco on Monday. In the first set Murray and Verdasco traded breaks but Murray prevailed in latter stages to take the first set 6-4. The two players were equally matched in the second and third sets but perseverance worked in Murray’s favor finally.
Rafael Nadal is quietly cruising to achieve something unprecedented at the Roland Garros this year. His fourth-round opponent on Monday at the Philippe Chatrier Court was Dusan Lajovic of Serbia. For some days, stories in the French news media pointed at Nadal’s discomfiture on playing guys, who had the single-handed backhands. But yesterday Nadal brushed aside such fear, when he disposed of Serbian in 93 minutes with the score line reading 6-1, 6-2, 6-1. Nadal has only lost 23 games in his four matches so far and he now faces compatriot David Ferrer, who is playing marvelous tennis himself. It may not be a cakewalk for the defending champion, although Ferrer has a two-handed backhand.
Among women, Romanian Simona Halep is displaying great form. On Monday, she looked absolutely composed as she beat American Sloane Stephens 6-4, 6-3 and set up the quarterfinal clash with Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova. The Russian, on her part, also put up a great performance against Czech Republic’s Lucie Safarova in scoring 6-3, 6-4 in an 80-minute match.
In another fourth round match, 10th seed Italian Sara Errani caused a major upset by beating three-time semi-finalist Jelena Jankovic 7-6, 6-2. In the first set tie-break Errani suffered emotional breakdown but regained composure to take the tie-break and the match. Errani’s quarterfinal opponent will be German Andrea Petkovic, who came through in a tough three-setter against world no.148 Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands. Bertens was a difficult opponent for Petkovic and stretched the 28th seed all the way in a contest that lasted for a little over 2 hours. Petkovic finally prevailed 1-6, 6-2, 7-5.
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