Fighting Nadal earns semi-final clash with Murray
Rafael Nadal recovered after a marathon tiebreak setback to book a semi-final face-off against Andy Murray with a high-tension triumph over France's Richard Gasquet on Friday.sports Updated: Jul 26, 2008 12:33 IST
Rafael Nadal recovered after a marathon tiebreak setback to book a semi-final face-off against Andy Murray with a high-tension triumph over France's Richard Gasquet on Friday.
Spain's Wimbledon and French Open champion overcame 10th-seeded Gasquet 6-7 (12/14), 6-2, 6-1 but required 2hrs, 14min to claim his 59th victory of the season.
Nadal roared back after losing the 75-minute opening set, which Gasquet claimed on his sixth set point after saving two set points for Nadal.
"It was a very tough first set," Nadal said. "I had chances, I was up a a break twice.
"But Richard played well to beat me in the set. In the second I had to stay positive and concentrated."
Murray, seeded eighth, cut short the title defense of Serbian Novak Djokovic, the eighth-seeded Scot stunning the number three by a 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) scoreline.
Murray made quick work of Djokovic - who beat Roger Federer and Nadal en route to the title last year - wrapping up an impressive victory in 1hr 44min.
"It's a big win mentally for me, the last three times I played him I lost pretty badly," Murray said.
"Nadal is always going to be a big win. It gives you confidence, especially when you've lost to him three or four times beforehand.
"I want to try and keep this sort of form."
Murray reversed a run of four straight losses against Djokovic.
"He's one of the best players, you can't make many errors against him and expect to win," added Murray, who saved a set point in the 10th game of the second set.
"If he had converted that, the momentum could have changed."
French giantkiller Gilles Simon will move into the world top 20 next week after reaching the last four 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 Croatian Marin Cilic.
The 23-year-old from Nice advanced to a meeting with Nicolas Kiefer, who moved closer to his first final since 2005 by defeating James Blake 6-1, 6-2.
Kiefer, 31, last won a trophy in October of 2000, and missed a year from mid-2006 to 2007 with a wrist injury.
"It was a short day in the office," said the German. "It's just great, a good win for me."
Simon admitted he's running out of gas after winning his ninth match in a row, with three service breaks from 15 chances.
"It was really hot for me on court, but it was a great fight again, a great match," said Simon.
"I'm happy to be in the semi-final. But I'm tired. In the second set I just kept fighting on every point. The start of the match was hard for me, Marin played very well."
Swiss-based Simon improved his season record to 30-16 as he won his 19th match of 2008 on hardcourt.