Rome – QF
Unexpectedly in the first quarterfinal, Florian Mayer totally outplayed Andy Murray in the initial phase of the match. The Brit changed his tactics at the beginning of the 2nd set, was playing more aggressively from the baseline and restored his authority in the next two sets, winning eleven out of the last twelve games and the match 1-6, 6-1, 6-1 in 1 hour 36 minutes. Murray hasn’t played a longer set than consisted of ten games in his nine matches this year on clay. He became the first British male since 1932 to reach the semi-finals at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. “In the first few game I got a little bit uptight because I was not really seeing his game well and did not really put much pressure on him. He is a very tough player and he’ll probably will be in the Top 20 after this week. I managed to turn it round but I needed to get some emotion into the match. I needed to get myself pumped up, my legs moving and I seemed to get back into it.” analyzed Murray.
The five time champion of the Italian Open, Rafael Nadal had to win the quarterfinal match to maintain his status of the best player in the world regardless of Djokovic’s final result in Rome. “The king of clay” despite some troubles with a virus earlier this week, began his match with Marin Cilic in impressive style, leading 5:0* (30-15). The Croat found a way to hold his serve four times in a row (the fourth time after a 9-minute game) but since 3:2 in the 2nd set, he lost the next four games and the match 1-6, 3-6.
Richard Gasquet reaching the semifinal in Rome, achieved his best result since the Wimbledon semifinal in 2007. The Frenchman followed his sensational win over Federer with another 3-setter, this time against Thomas Berdych – 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 obtaining the crucial break in the 7th game of the 3rd set.
Novak Djokovic cruised into the semi-finals and extended his winning streak to 37 straight matches after defeating 5th-seeded Robin Soderling 6-3, 6-0. It’s the sixth longest streak in the Open era, only five players (Bjorn Borg, Guillermo Vilas, Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe and Roger Federer) won more consecutive matches than Djokovic – each of them at least 40. The match with Soderling was balanced until 3:3 in the 1st set. In the 7th game Djokovic fought off two break points and Soderling, who had been playing very good match, completely lost his concept. The Serb finished the contest with two consecutive aces, winning the last 15 points!
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