Semifinal line-ups were decided on Wednesday after the completion of all quarterfinal matches in men and women’s singles matches. Andrea Petkovic’s quarterfinal victory over Sara Errani was significant since no German has reached the semifinal at Roland Garros in the last 15 years, when Steffi Graf held the winner’s trophy in 1999. In the other quarterfinal match in women’s singles, Romania’s Simona Halep continued her great form to demolish Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia. Petkovic will face Halep for a place in the final on Thursday. On the same day the other finalist will also be decided, when Maria Sharapova plays Eugenie Bouchard. In Wednesday’s men’s singles matches, a supremely confident Rafael Nadal defeated compatriot David Ferrer and Andy Murray saw off a five-set challenge from the unpredictable Gael Monfils. For the two places in men’s finals, Nadal will play Murray and Djokovic will take on Ernests Gulbis on Friday.
In the women’s singles quarterfinal match on Wednesday, 28th seeded Andrea Petkovic had an easy 6-2, 6-2 victory over Sara Errani of Italy. The match was delayed due to rain but when the players came on court Errani began in great fashion by breaking Petkovic in the very first game and then held her serve to make it 2-0. That was all Errani could do as Petkovic reeled off 6 games on the trot to finish the set 6-2 in 27 minutes. In the second set too Errani took an early 2-1 lead but Petkovic took command in the rest of the games and closed the match 6-2, 6-2 in a little over an hour.
In the other quarterfinal between Romanian Simona Halep and Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, the final score-line was identical to first match. Although Halep played with authority, Kutnetsova could not bring out her best game on account of an injury to her left thigh. To start the first set, Halep broke Kuznetsova but the Russian broke right back to level the score. Soon, however, the 4th seeded Halep began dictating terms. With Kuznetsova committing needless errors, pressure mounted on her. Halep’s consistency was her hallmark as she took the first set 6-2. Playing with a heavily strapped thigh, Kuznetsova’s court movements suffered and it became even easier for Halep to close the match 6-2, 6-2 in 79 minutes.
The quarterfinal between two Spaniards, Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer showed why Nadal is still the king of clay. Since his first-round match, Nadal has been playing consistently good tennis. But the talented Ferrer is never an easy customer and he showed his capability in the opening game of the match by making a perfect start in the first set and led 3-1. He finally took the set 6-4. In the second set, Nadal came back strongly and became more consistent in rallies. The turning point of the match came with Nadal leading 3-2 on his serve. Ferrer was able to push Nadal and earned two break points but lost them both. Once Nadal finished the game on the winning note, there was no looking back for him. He first took the second set 6-4 and then ran away in third and fourth sets to finish the tie 4-6, 6-4, 6-0, 6-1. With this victory, Nadal will take on Andy Murray, who had a story of his own in the match against Frenchman Gael Monfils.
Murray started strongly and took the first two sets without much trouble. Gael Monfils helped him by making avoidable errors. Murray had to continue playing his normal game by ignoring the hugely partisan crowd at the Philippe Chartier court because every move that Monfils made was wildly applauded. Against such hostile environment, Murray still raced away to a 3-0 lead in the first set but Monfils made it 3-3 and matched Murray serve for serve until the 10th game, when Murray held two set points. Monfils saved the first but then followed a 34-shot rally that ended in Murray’s favor as he pocketed the first set 6-4. Murray didn’t have to work too hard in taking the second 6-1. Monfils, however, bounced back into the match in the third set. Until the ninth game the set had gone on serves with Monfils up 5-4. In the tenth game, however, Monfils forced errors from Murray to take the set 6-4. The French showman bulldozed Murray into submission in the fourth set and ran away a 6-1 victor to the delight of the wildly cheering crowd in the stands. With set scores level 2-2, Murray’s appeal for match suspension on account of fading lights was disallowed. Forced to continue, Murray found his range of shots and led 3-0. Monfils lost the verve and lost the match with the stunned crowd watching in awe as Murray finished the five-setter in his favor 6-4, 6-1, 4-6, 1-6, 6-0.