Djokovic dethrones Nadal

World No 1 demolishes Spaniard in straight sets; Serena storms into last four

Djokovic dethrones Nadal

World number one Novak Djokovic handed nine-times champion Rafael Nadal of Spain his second defeat in 11 years at Roland Garros to reach the semifinals of the French Open with a 7-5, 6-3, 6-1 win on Wednesday.

The Serb, looking to win the only Grand Slam missing from his collection, will take on either British third seed Andy Murray or Spain's David Ferrer, the seventh seed, for a place in Sunday's final.

Nadal's only previous defeat came in 2009 when the Mallorcan was knocked out in the fourth round by Swede Robin Soderling.

The Spaniard recovered to level from a 4-0 deficit in the first set, but still lost the opener and once Djokovic had broken in the second, there was no way back for the claycourt king.

Serena in semis
Top seed Serena Williams set up a semifinal clash with Timea Bacsinszky after defeating Italian 17th seed Sara Errani 6-1, 6-3 on Wednesday.

Williams, who is looking for her third title at Roland Garros and 20th career Grand Slam crown, will face Bacsinszky after the Swiss 23rd seed beat unseeded Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck 6-4, 7-5 in the day's other quarterfinal tie.

The American meant business right from the start, breaking immediately to lead 2-0 on the central Court Philippe Chatrier.

The diminutive Errani broke back straight away but once more she could not hold her own serve and fell 3-1 behind.

Williams then saved another break point against her in the following game with a brilliant cross-court forehand and, with Errani struggling against her opponent's power, she broke again before serving successfully to take the first set in just 27 minutes.

The second set was tighter, going with serve until Williams broke in the seventh game to lead 4-3, and she then went on to clinch victory on her fourth match point in a marathon ninth game as the match concluded in just one hour and five minutes.

Williams, who has now won all nine of her meetings with Errani, was far too powerful for the Italian, producing 39 winners to just nine for her opponent and conjuring 11 return winners against Errani's weak serve.

"In the last three matches I lost the first set and today I knew I needed to play very well because she is very good here at Roland Garros so it was very important for me," said Williams.

Bacsinszky is through to her first Grand Slam semifinal after repelling a battling performance by Van Uytvanck on Court Suzanne Lenglen in a match that lasted an hour and three quarters.

The Swiss got off to a great start, breaking twice early on to lead 3-0. Van Uytvanck then got one break back but could not find another and Bacsinszky took the opening set 6-4.
Van Uytvanck, the unseeded world number 93 who was the first Belgian to appear in the quarterfinals at Roland Garros since Justine Henin won the title in 2007, kept fighting and an exchange of breaks ensured that the second set was poised at 5-5.

But that was when Bacsinszky broke again, leaving her serving for the match. And the 25-year-old converted her first match point with a terrific backhand down the line.
Bacsinszky, who beat fourth seed Petra Kvitova in the fourth round, has lost both of her previous meetings with Williams, on clay in Rome in 2010 and in straight sets in the quarterfinals at Indian Wells earlier this year.

Sania-Hingis bow out
Indian ace Sania Mirza and her Swiss partner Martina Hingis crashed out of the tournament after being upstaged in straight sets by Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova in their women’s doubles quarterfinal match.

Top seeds and hot favourites, Sania and Martina went down to the seventh seeded American-Czech pair 5-7, 2-6.

With this defeat, India’s campaign in the main draw of the event is over.
It was a below par performance by Sania and Martina, managing to win just a total of 61 points as compared to 70 by their lower-ranked rivals.

Although they fought hard in the opening set, the Indo-Swiss duo could not step up the momentum when needed and lost 5-7.

In the second set, leading 2-0, Mattek-Sands and Safarova tightened the noose and the top seeds were left to play only the catching up game, which they eventually lost.

AFP

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