Djokovic, Nadal set up semifinal clash
Rafael Nadal's transformation into clay court machine was complete today as the seven-times champion bulldozed into the French Open semifinals with a 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 crushing of Swiss ninth seed Stanislas Wawrinka.Updated: Jun 06, 2013, 02:28 IST
Rafa Nadal's transformation into clay court machine was complete on Wednesday as the seven-times champion bulldozed into the French Open semifinals with a 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 crushing of Swiss ninth seed Stanislas Wawrinka.
After he huffed and puffed through the opening week of the Slam, the Spanish third seed was at his awe-inspiring best to set up a meeting with world number one Novak Djokovic of Serbia. Djokovic subdued the challenge of 35-year-old Tommy Haas with a 6-3, 7-6(5), 7-5 win.
Nadal, who has lost only one match at Roland Garros, marched through the opening set conceding zero break points against a tiring Wawrinka. The Swiss, who had survived a five-set thriller in the previous round, ran out of steam and ideas.Meanwhile, if Djokovic still had nightmares about his mauling by Haas just over two months ago in Miami, he hid those fears well on Wednesday.
After Djokovic outplayed the German in the first set, Haas went toe-to-toe with the Serbian in the second. Three times the 12th seed went ahead with a mini-break in the tiebreak but each time Djokovic fought back.
When Djokovic brought up set point by finishing off a 24-shot rally with a breathtaking crosscourt backhand winner, the damage was done and there was no way back into the set for Haas who was looking to become the oldest men's semi-finalist in Paris since 1968.
Haas enjoyed one final hurrah in the third set, breaking the top seed when he was serving for the match at 5-4 but it was soon evident he was running on empty as he lost the next two games and the match when Djokovic whacked a backhand winner into the corner of the court.