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Roland Garros – Nadal disposes of Ferrer, Murray battles through

After stellar wins for Djokovic and Gulbis yesterday, it was time for the likes of Nadal and Murray to take center stage on an exciting Day 11 at Roland Garros. Nadal would meet Ferrer in a repeat of last year’s championship final, while Murray was tasked was to play the villain against home favorite Monfils.

[1] Rafael Nadal (ESP) d. [5] David Ferrer (ESP) 46 64 60 61
 After a very ordinary clay court season by his immense standards, Nadal has gone quietly about his business so far this week. All the attention has been with Djokovic and the possibility of ascending to the No. 1 spot and completing the career slam, which I think has helped Nadal so far this tournament. He has reaffirmed his title as the King of Clay by playing aggressively and consistently – Ferrer would prove no easy challenge; Nadal has lost two of his last three encounters with Ferrer dating back to last years Roland Garros final. Play was consistent and entertaining in the first set, the pair traded breaks before Ferrer drew ahead with another break to clinch yet another set off Nadal. His weight of shot was troubling Nadal and he seemed to be moving on to yet another win over his Spanish compatriot. The defending champion cooled down a bit in the second, as did the playing conditions, racing to a 3-1 lead. He reeled off break point chances form his opponent to take the set 6-4. Ferrer struggled with errors after the loss of the second, and this ultimately told, as he would not win a single game in the third. Ferrer held triple break point in the second game of the fourth set, but was unable to capitalize. Nadal was brutally dictating play at his own free will now. Despite a fight back from Ferrer, Nadal closed out in the match in four sets. He has now beaten Ferrer in the last three French Opens.

[7] Andy Murray (GBR) d. [23] Gael Monfils (FRA) 64 61 46 16 60 Murray has impressed me so far in Paris. After winning an epic five setter against Kohlschreiber (over two days), he came together to dismantle Verdasco in three entertaining sets. His mindset, although visibly frustrating at times, has remained fierce and aggressive, with the results showing this. His opponent is the always entertaining, flamboyant Frenchman, Monfils. He had his own epic five setter against Fognini, a similar player in personality and game style. His tennis has delighted the French faithful so far, but Murray would be his toughest challenge yet. Contested in windy conditions, Murray broke first in the second game. Content with now rallying, Murray remained consistent in his weight of shots, having the luxury of a break of serve. He soon closed out the first set 6-4 despite a late comeback from Monfils. The French crowd were subdued after Murray broke early in the second, racing to a 5-0 lead. Monfils avoided a 6-0 set but soon conceded to go down two sets to love. To Monfils’ credit he remained aggressive and it began to tell as he went up 5-4. Murray was to drop serve for the first time in the match as Monfils somehow clawed his way back into the match. An aggressive Monfils ran away in the fourth set, attacking at every given opportunity. The crowd, spurred on by this comeback, could sense something. The atmosphere was electric as the match headed to a deserved decider. But Monfils would win just a measly six points in the decider, going down 6-0 in 24 minutes. Murray now moves onto the semi finals here for the second time, while Monfils drops to 21-9 for the season.   The semi final spots are now complete. Nadal will take on Murray, while Djokovic battles it out against Gulbis. I think we’d all like to see the Nadal v Djokovic final, but be weary of our other semifinalists. Good luck boys.

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