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Rafa's friendly fire destroys Moya

Nadal takes his career Roland Garros record to 19 wins in 19 matches with a win which confirms his semifinal berth.

india Updated: Jun 08, 2007 19:33 IST

Rafael Nadal moved effortlessly to within two wins of emulating Bjorn Borg's mark of three successive French Open titles when he mercilessly dismissed fellow Spaniard and close friend Carlos Moya on Wednesday.

Double defending champion Nadal took his career Roland Garros record to 19 wins in 19 matches with his 6-4, 6-3, 6-0 victory which put him into a semi-final showdown with Serbian dangerman Novak Djokovic.

It also kept him on course for an eagerly-awaited final clash on Sunday against world number one Roger Federer who has his sights on his own slice of history.

Victory for Federer would make him only the third man in history to hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time.

The top seed faces Russia's Nikolay Davydenko in the other semi-final on Friday.

Watched by Hollywood star, and fellow Spaniard, Antonio Banderas, Wednesday's quarter-final was no action-thriller but a comedy of errors for 1998 champion Moya who wilted under Nadal's greater power and variety.

In a subdued opening, Nadal struck first to lead 3-2 but Moya, nine years the champion's senior, levelled straightaway when his opponent unleashed a loose drop shot which the 30-year-old pounced upon with a vicious forehand.

Moya, playing his 12th Roland Garros, then squandered his good work by putting in a sloppy service game to allow Nadal to restore his advantage at 4-3.

Nadal didn't allow his fellow Mallorcan a second opportunity and snatched the opening set after 48 minutes.

A double fault by the error-strewn Moya handed Nadal the first break of the second set in the third game for a 2-1 lead which soon became 3-1 courtesy of a confident Nadal service game.

The champion broke a dispirited and bemused Moya in the ninth game to claim the second set. Moya was down and almost out.

He quickly slipped to 0-4 down in the third set which became 0-5 thanks to a Nadal love-service game.

Moya saved a match point in the sixth game but a double fault, the veteran's third of the tie, gave Nadal another match point which he converted into victory with a big forehand.

Nadal's win kept up his record of not having dropped a set at this year's French Open and few will bet against him taking Sunday's final and becoming only the second man in 93 years after Borg (1978-1981) to win three-in-a-row at Roland Garros.

First Published: Jun 06, 2007 21:02 IST