King of Clay Rafael Nadal has been dethroned by top seed Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals on his 29th birthday. Nadal succumbed to his only second defeat in 72 outings at Rolland Garros Wednesday. Djokovic forced 18 break-points, a testament of his domination against the nine-time champion at Roland Garros on the road to his convincing 7-5 6-3 6-1 victory.
“Good fight in the first. Good fight in the second. In the third, I am not happy about the way (I played),” said Nadal, who now looks forward to the Wimbledon, starting at the end of this month. ”The first break was very painful for me. After that, everything was too quick.”
Djokovic was on a 26-match winning streak getting into this contest.
Andy Murray sealed his second consecutive semifinal berth at the Roland Garros, and for the third time in his career, by defeating seventh seed David Ferrer 7-6 (4), 6-2, 5-7, 6-1. The Briton, who has shown considerable improvement in form inside the clay court, will now lock horns with Djokovic in the semifinals on Friday.
“He has improved on clay, no doubt about it. I watched him a little bit in Madrid,” Djokovic expressed his wary about Murray’s form. ”Here he’s been playing some really good tennis. He’s moving better, serving very well, and he always had a (good) touch.”
Djokovic leads the 3rd seeded Murray 18-8 in head-on clashes.