Nadal, Federer through to French Open semifinals
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer yesterday moved to the French Open semifinals, in different types of encounter. The second seeded Nadal dispatched Japan’s Kei Nishikori, 6/1, 6/2, 6/3 on Philippe-Chatrier Court, while on Suzanne Lenglen Arena, Federer outlasted compatriot Stan Wawrinka in four grueling sets, 7/6 (4), 4/6, 7/6 (5), 6/4
Nadal opened serving and held the first game of the first set but Nishikori dropped his serve to offer Nadal the lead that was extended to 3-0. The Spaniard broke Nishikori in the sixth game and rolled on to 6/1. Nishikori took his serve in the first game of the second set but a break in the third gave Nadal the opportunity to stretch his lead to 3-1. Nishikori lost his serves in the sixth and seventh games to drop the set 6/3.
Nadal sped to a 4-1 lead in the third set but game was suspended after Nishikori took the sixth game.
On resumption, Nadal served a love game to lead 5-2. Although Nishikori held to reduce the tally, Nadal dropped only one point en route to winning the set 6/3. It was Nadal’s 11th victory over Nishikori, who had won only two matches in their career match-ups starting in 2008 when Nadal prevailed in three sets at the Queens London Grass-courts tournament.
Stan Wawrinka succumbed to a burden of memory in his attempt to win his fourth ever career match since Federer won their first encounter in the 2005 Rotterdam Indoor event. However, the third seed extended his record to 23 wins over his compatriot. Wawrinka led 6-5 in the first set, but Federer leveled without dropping a point.
In the tiebreak, Wawrinka took the first point on serve but dropped the fourth point to fall behind 2-4 at changeover. Although Wawrinka took the next two points to level, he dropped a crucial service point and Federer held his two serves to clinch the set.
Federer lost serve in the third game of second set that led to Wawrinka serving at 5-4. He reached three set points but Federer deuced before Wawrinka won 6/4. Wawrinka broke Federer’s serve to take the seventh game of the third set but lost a long eighth game. Federer prevailed in a long 11th game to lead 6-5 but Wawrinka forced a tie break in which Federer led 5-1 at changeover before clinching the set by 7 points to 5.
In the third set, a single break of Wawrinka’s serve gave Federer the ninth game. Serving for the match, Federer saved a break point and required a second advantage to win the game and set for the match.
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