The two mens quarter-finals on Tuesday were both wrapped up in straight sets as Novak Djokovic and Ernests Gulbis set up an enticing semi-final for Friday. I was surprised that Gulbis won, but more so in the scoreline, a 6-3 6-2 6-4 cruise past Tomas Berdych. Djokovic was too solid for Milos Raonic as he came through in three tight sets, 7-5 7-6(5) 6-4. Wednesday’s quarter-finals are both pretty great, which provided a real dilemma for the organisers. In my opinion, they have made the right decision in going for Monfils v Murray on Philippe Chatrier. This was one of the rare decisions I have agreed with…
Poll Results: 76% correctly went for Djokovic to beat Raonic and 34% correctly went for Gulbis to beat Berdych.
1. Rafael Nadal v David Ferrer
Rafael Nadal has made a sensationally smooth passage through this year’s Roland Garros draw. The world number one THRASHED Dusan Lajovic, 6-1 6-2 6-1 in a very quick fourth round match lasting just one hour and 33 minutes. In the quarter-finals, Nadal faces his toughest test of the week against compatriot, David Ferrer. I was really surprised that Ferrer lost a set to Kevin Anderson. In truth, he was never really tested as he came through in four sets, 6-3 6-3 6-7(5) 6-1. Nadal leads the head-to-head with Ferrer by 21 victories to 6; their most recent match was one of their most memorable because Daveed actually won. Ferrer won 7-6(1) 6-4 in Monte-Carlo. It makes this a much more attractive prospect because their last match before the one in MC had been in the Roland Garros final, which wasn’t a contest. Ferrer has been playing the best players much better in 2014. I still think Nadal is going to prevail. I’m expecting a reasonably competitive match though.
Prediction: Nadal d. Ferrer in 4 sets
2. Andy Murray v Gael Monfils
This should be fun. After hearing of Gael Monfils‘s struggles against Fabio Fognini in his third round match, I was quite stunned to see him beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in straight sets, 6-0 6-2 7-5. This was a comprehensive beatdown from a match that I thought would be really close based on GGL’s form this fortnight. Monfils’s record at Roland Garros is just awesome. This is his fourth quarter-final and he is bidding for his second appearance in the last four at RG. To put that into perspective, Monfils has reached just one Grand Slam quarter-final away from Paris.
Murray has had a really encouraging week and defeated Fernando Verdasco in Monday’s match of the day. It was a gripping battle, full of classic clay court rallies and a cracking atmosphere. Murray came through in three tight sets, 6-4 7-5 7-6(3). This came just a day after he completed a five set win over Philipp Kohlschreiber in a match that went into extra time (12-10 in the fifth) and was spread over two days.
Murray leads the head-to-head with Monfils by 3 wins to 2. Monfils won their last match in Paris, Bercy. That was back in 2010 and Monfils won in three sets. Monfils leads 2-0 for matches in France as he also beat Murray at Roland Garros in 2006. I just cannot call Monfils this week. I thought he was injured at the start of the tournament! Murray has been improving match-on-match and I’m going for the Brit to edge a great contest.
Prediction: Murray d. Monfils in 4 sets