Both 4th seed David Ferrer and 6th seed Jo Wilfried Tsonga were chasing records and lifelong dreams in today’s semi-final match. Tsonga was attempting to become the first French player in 30 years to win the title while David Ferrer was trying to reach his first Grand Slam final in his 13 year long career.
Nerves got the better off Tsonga while the Spaniard was able to keep his in check to perform on the big stage and that allowed him to see off the Frenchman in straight sets 6-1, 7-6(3), 6-2 to set up an all Spanish final against defending champion Rafael Nadal on Sunday.
With players like Tommy Haas and Tommy Robredo amongst others playing marathon 5 setters to progress deep into the men’s draw at this year’s French Open, the story at the 2013 Roland Garros has been about the’ 30+ generation’ and the grueling nature of the Parisian red clay.
Three out of four players in today’s quarterfinal were into their fourth decade and it looked like tennis fans were in for another engaging and long lasting day of tennis.
However, that was not the case as both 4th seed David Ferrer and 6th seed and last remaining Frenchman in the men’s draw Jo-Wilfried Tsonga came through in straight sets to move into the last 4. Ferrer defeated Robredo 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 while Tsonga joined him a little later talking out the 2nd seed, Roger Federer, 7-5, 6-3, 6-3.
It was a great day for the seeded players in the men’s draw as all 15 seeded players who took to court emerged victorious from their respective first and second round encounters. World no.2 Roger Federer led the way by putting in a virtuoso performance against India’s Somdev Devvarman, thumping the qualifier 6-2, 6-1, 6-1. 4th seed David Ferrer and 6th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are his possible semi-final and quarter-final opponents and both of them prevailed in their 2nd round matches in straight sets. 8th seed Janko Tipsarevic and 10th seed Marin Cilic rounded off the top 10 with easy victories to move into the round of 32. 2008 semi-finalist Gael Monfils continued to play some of the best to take out Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis in 4 tight sets 6-7(5) 6-4 7-6(4) 6-2.
World no.2 Roger Federer has been playing extremely aggressive tennis on the red clay in a bid to reverse his fortunes at Roland Garros. That strategy failed in Madrid and Rome as he produced numerous errors to hand victories to Kei Nishikori and Rafael Nadal. Although the Swiss Maestro made 33 unforced errors in his match against Devvarman, he more than made up for it with 54 scintillating winners to both sides of the court.
Day 5 of the 2013 Monte Carlo Masters got off to a great start with 6 terrific sets of tennis. In the first of those two matches, 6th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga battled it out against 13th seed Stanislas Wawrinka before pulling through in three sets 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. In the next encounter, 8 time defending champion Rafael Nadal was pushed to the limit by 21 year old Grigor Dimitrov as the Spaniard lost his first set in the principality since 2011 eventually winning 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 to progress into the semi-finals.
The other two of the day’s encounters were more one sided with top seed Novak Djokovic finally finding form for a straight set victory over Finland’s Jarko Nieminen and Italy’s Fabio Fognini triumphing against 7th seed Richard Gasquet 7-6(0), 6-2.
Runner up at the 2013 Indian Wells Masters, Juan Martin del Potro survived a scare against world no.22 Alexandr Dolgopolov as he fought his way back from a set and 4-2 down to win in three sets to continue his campaign at the Monte Carlo Masters into the third round. Joining him there will be Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who saw off Russian veteran Nikolay Davydenko in straight sets 7-6(3), 6-2. 8th seed Janko Tipsarevic was not as lucky and was upset by Grigor ‘Baby Fed’ Dimitrov 7-6(3), 6-1.
5th seed Juan Martin Del Potro has been making a habit of late, of coming back from set deficits to win matches, as was witnessed in his defeats of world no.1 Novak Djokovic and world no.2 Andy Murray in quick succession at the BNP Paribas Masters in Indian Wells. He continued on that path in his second round match against 24 year old Alexandr Dolgopolov as the Argentine overcame the Ukrainian after a two hour battle 1-6, 6-4, 6-3.
The biggest upset off the tournament came in the men’s draw of the Sony Open on Thursday courtesy 15th seed Tommy Haas who defeated world no.1 and two time defending champion Novak Djokovic in straight sets 6-2, 6-4. Fellow Serb and no.7 seed Janko Tipsarevic was another member of the top 10 who was sent packing with a loss in three sets at the hands of 11th seed Giles Simon 7-5, 2-6, 2-6. The other top players like 2nd seed Andy Murray, 3rd seed David Ferrer and 4th seed Tomas Berdych performed according to rank and moved into the quarterfinals with comfortable straight set victories.
15th seed Tommy Haas has a great CV that has a former world no. 2 position and 4 Grand Slam semi-final appearances to his credit but his career has been plagued with injuries preventing him from putting together a strong run in the last decade. Moreover, at 35 Haas is the oldest player in the top 50. With Miami being practically home turf for Djokovic, who came into their match on the back of 14 straight wins here, things did not look good for the German.
The seeds in the men’s draw at the Sony Open continued to overcome their opponents as they moved into the 4th round at the Miami Masters. Andy Murray, seeded second as a result of Roger Federer’s absence, survived a scare in the opening set to overcome Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets, 7-6(3), 6-3. Indian Wells semi-finalist and 4th seed Tomas Berdych had an even more difficult match as he fought back from a set down and saved two match points to defeat Colombian Alejandro Falla 2-6, 7-6(6), 6-4. Other members of the top 10 including no. 6 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, no. 8 seed Richard Gasquet, No. 9 seed Marin Cilic and no. 10 seed Nicolas Almagro all progressed to the round of 16 with straight sets victories in their respective third round matches.
Dimitrov played a great opening set against Murray, runner up in Miami last year, and broke twice for a 5-2 lead. The Scot saved two set points and forced the Bulgarian to serve for it, but the youngster crumbled under pressure and made three double faults allowing the 2nd seed to make a comeback. The fight between the two continued into the tiebreak where Murray edged ahead for 7-3. The 2012 U.S Open champion broke early in the second game of the next set and held serve from that point to wrap things up 6-3.