Roland Garros – Day 10, 11 (QF)

4th quarterfinal:

(1)Novak Djokovic d. (12)Tommy Haas    6-3, 7-6(5), 7-5    [2:13 h]

In a very similar style (7-5 6-1 7-6 in 2 hours 14 minutes) Djokovic defeated Haas at Roland Garros seven years ago – it was rather surprising back then, now the Serb was a clear favorite despite a bitter djokovic_rg13loss to Haas a couple of months ago in Miami… In the first two sets Haas couldn’t get a break point, yet he was two points away from taking the 2nd set at 5-all in the tie-break – then occurred one of the best rallies of the match, which Djokovic won with a succulent cross-court backhand. In the last set Haas broke back twice, the second time surviving a match point at 3:5 on serve, but wasted a game point in the 11th game and Djokovic converted the second match point with a backhand down the line – he’d failed the same type of a shot on the first occasion. It’s the first time in the Open era that all quarterfinals were concluded in Paris after straight setters (in 2011 three matches ended 3-0, Djokovic got a walkover from Fognini). In the entire French Open history it happened just once before, in 1948 and a retirement was involved in one of those quarterfinals. “Now I have a big challenge in front of me, and I’m ready for it,” said Djokovic. “I have been playing well. I know that this is the biggest challenge for me in Roland Garros, no question about it, and I’m sure that it’s going to be quite a good match.”

3rd quarterfinal:

(3)Rafael Nadal d. (9)Stanislas Wawrinka    6-2, 6-3, 6-1    [1:56 h]

nadal_rg13The Swiss entered this match on Philippe Chatrier having a 0-9 record against Nadal, not winning even a single set, with a recent one-sided loss in the Madrid final. With such a poor stats it had been tough to expect the main favorite would have had any problems in advancing to the semifinals, but Wawrinka’s performance is concerning anyway. He had lost his serve two times in a 4-hour battle against Gasquet, Nadal broke him twice already in the opening 25 minutes and the final outcome was never questioned since then. Wawrinka showed his inefficacy & frustration in the 7th game of the 1st set when netted a backhand from a good position in the end of spectacular rally, and devastated his racquet right afterwards. “I’m disappointed because I couldn’t find solutions. I couldn’t make the right choices at the right moments. I couldn’t execute,” reflected Wawrinka. “Apart from this, Nadal is a complicated player. You have to play an incredible game. And when you play really well, he shouldn’t be playing his best level. If you are at my ranking and at my level, given the conditions, it’s very difficult.

2nd quarterfinal:

(6)Jo-Wilfried Tsonga d. (2)Roger Federer    7-5, 6-3, 6-3    [1:51 h

It’s 22nd Open era pair of players to have faced each other at all four majors. Federer had beaten Tsonga severely at Australian Open ’10 & US Open ’11, this time it was a time of a sweet revenge. The tsonga_rg13initial phase of this match didn’t suggest that Tsonga would finish the contest as a comfortable straight sets winner. He was *2:4 down in the 1st set. In the 8th game Federer led 40/15 on serve, but lost four straigh points. In the 12th game Tsonga had a triple set point, Federer won three points in a row, the second one with a beautiful backhand passing-shot, but made two casual errors afterwards, and the Frenchman took the momentum. Tsonga’s ground-strokes were functioning very well, and he grabbed another two sets without any troubles. He is through to the French Open semifinals for the first time in career, and he makes it not dropping a set (!) – he’s lost his serve four times (twice against Federer). “I thought he played great today,” said Federer. “He was, in all areas, better than me today. That’s why the result was pretty clean. I was impressed by the way he played today. I think I struggled a little bit everywhere. To be honest, personally, I’m pretty sad about the match and the way I played.” Tsonga becomes the 10th Open era Frenchman to reach semifinals at Roland Garros, only Yannick Noah managed to lift the trophy 30 years ago.

1st quarterfinal:

(4)David Ferrer d. (32)Tommy Robredo    6-2, 6-1, 6-1    [1:25 h]

After historic, three consecutive comebacks from two sets down (two that lasted almost four hours), Robredo ran out of gas on Suzanne Lenglen court. Obviously he would have had amazingly tough task against anyone, ferrer_rg13but his tiredness must have been visible especially against a rock-solid Ferrer, who in contrary to his peer and compatriot, spent the fewest amount of time prior to the quarterfinals among eight players. “I wasn’t 100 per cent ready to fight in the match,” said Robredo. “Playing a guy like David, who is a machine, it’s very tough. So there was no match today. I’m not sad about losing today. I just wish [that] I had managed to fight a bit more. It was very difficult, if not impossible.” Robredo becomes the first Open Era player to lose major quarterfinals six times not having reached a semifinal. Guy Forget is second in this stats, with five quarterfinal defeats, nine players couldn’t break through to the semifinals in four quarterfinal attempts. “I think it’s quite normal [that] the crowd is going to be supporting Jo,” said Ferrer about his semifinal match. “He’s French and I am very happy he’s made it that far. I’ll do everything I can to make it to the final. I have to remain focused.Stats of the match

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