British number one Andy Murray fell victim to a great performance by Spain’s David Ferrer on day 11 of the French Open on Wednesday, where two other Spaniards were vying for a place in the semifinals.
Murray was humbled by sixth seed Ferrer 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-2. The Scot had his chances but his inconsistency proved to be his ultimate downfall.
“I thought I played some good tennis tonight,” Murray said at the game’s end. “I just didn’t convert.”
Ferrer, on the other hand said he, “felt good.”
“It’s my first time in semifinal in Roland Garros, so I feel good,” said Ferrer as he made it into French Open’s next stage. “It was a very tough match, and I’m very happy.”
Ferrer’s form on clay has been extremely impressive this year but his victory on Wednesday enhances his already-brilliant record against Murray to 4-0 on the orange surface. His career record also improves to 450-239 after a walkover three hour and 45 minutes match.
On a day when play had to be halted due to rainfall, Ferrer was on course to wrap up the first set 6-2. However, a vigilant Murray clung on until 5-4 when Ferrer decided to unleash his fury with some strong ground strokes. The world number four, who caused controversy for allegedly over-exaggerating his back pain, refused to give in and took the second in a tough tighbreak. All the hard work that Murray put into his well-earned comeback was never present in the following sets. His inconsistent displays cost him the match and eventually finished second best behind the far supreme man.
Ferrer will face his close friend Rafael Nadal in the semifinals.
The six time champion and fellow Spaniard dispatched off Nicolas Almagro, the 12th seed, in awe-inspiring fashion, conquering 7-6(4), 6-2, 6-3. Nadal has yet to succumb a set in the entire tournament this year and is odds-on favorite to claim his seventh prize.
“You cannot expect to win an easy match in [the] quarter-finals of a Grand Slam, [the] quarter-finals of Roland Garros,” said Nadal. “[It] was a tough one, but I am through and I am very happy.”
Almagro was surprisingly optimistic.
“I’m very happy with my tennis today,” said Almagro. “I think I played one of the best matches I can play against Rafa, but he’s the No. 1 in the world on this surface.”
Nadal became the sixth player to win 50 plus matches in Paris. This statistic is sure to worry Ferrer, who trails the head-to-head record 15-4.
Almagro’s clever decision to target his compatriot’s weaker shot initially worked well but as he began to tire, Nadal took his chance to pounce. It was a routine win from thereafter, committing just 16 unforced errors and winning 84 per cent of his first serves.
The same cannot be said for Almagro, who failed to capitalize on any of his four breakpoints and won a total of 91 of 205 total points. The pain doesn’t cease there though, the record between him and Nadal is shocking, never triumphing in their eight appearances.
(Writing by Matthew Bolton)