This year’s French Open has thus far been fraught with upsets and epic games. Roger Federer exited the tournament in the quarter-final as he was knocked out by countryman Stan Wawrinka. Meanwhile Andy Murray saw off Spaniard David Ferrer to set up a semi-final clash with world number one Novak Djokovic, who beat Rafael Nadal in straight sets.
This year saw one of the most anticipated quarter-final matchups in history, as world number one Novak Djokovic met Rafael Nadal. While the Spaniard has not had the most successful year, he boasted nearly a 99% win rate in the French Open, having lost just one match in 71. While he was happy with the way he regained his form recently, he conceded it was “probably not enough yet to play against and to win against Novak.” If he had won this and gone on to win the tournament, Nadal would have become the first man in history to win one of the Grand Slam titles 10 times.
Djokovic, on the other hand, carried the best form of his life into this year’s French Open, something he has continued up until this point. He has won six of the last seven encounters with Nadal, though it was his first win in their last five Grand-Slam meetings. Djokovic’s most recent win in a Grand Slam against Nadal came in the 2012 Australian Open final, the longest Grand Slam final in history at 5 hours 53 minutes. That match is considered one of the greatest in tennis history, with both players at the peak of their careers.
The match yesterday however, looked as though it would be over quickly, as Djokovic took an early 4-0 lead in the first set. However the Spaniard broke twice to draw level, and an intense battle for the first set ensued. The Serb eventually won 7-5, with no tiebreak needed. From here it looked as though the will of Nadal was broken, as Djokovic steamrolled his way to the semi-final of the French Open, eventually winning 7-5 6-3 6-1. Of the victory, he has said, “It’s definitely a big win, a match that I will remember for a long time.” He will face Andy Murray in the semi-final.
The other quarter-final played yesterday was a different story, much more closely fought. Britain’s Andy Murray faced Spain’s David Ferrer in a match that lasted for 3 hours 16 minutes. After a fairly straightforward tiebreak at the end of the first set, Murray gained the upper hand, winning 7-6(7-4). After winning the second set 6-2, the Brit missed a match point in the third and ended up losing the set. He dug deep however, winning the final set to put the final score at 7-6(7-4) 6-2 5-7 6-1, cementing his place in the semi-final of the French Open. Ferrer struggled with his serve throughout, making 11 double faults.
The semi-final clash between Murray and Djokovic should be an exciting one, as Britain’s best attempts to forget any prior defeats and produce his best tennis. The other semi-final will be played by Stan Wawrinka, who knocked out Roger Federer, and home favourite Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, who eased past Kei Nishikori.
Author Eoghan Aston
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