Ruthless Nadal's friendly fire destroys Moya

6th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 6, 2007 (AFP) - Rafael Nadal moved effortlessly to within two wins of emulating Bjorn Borg's mark of three successive French Open titles when he mercilessly dismissed fellow Spaniard and close friend Carlos Moya on Wednesday.

PARIS, June 6, 2007 (AFP) - Rafael Nadal moved effortlessly to within two wins of emulating Bjorn Borg's mark of three successive French Open titles when he mercilessly dismissed fellow Spaniard and close friend Carlos Moya on Wednesday.

Double defending champion Nadal took his career Roland Garros record to 19 wins in 19 matches with his 6-4, 6-3, 6-0 victory which put him into a semi-final showdown with Serbian dangerman Novak Djokovic.

It also kept him on course for a possible final clash on Sunday against world number one Roger Federer who has his sights on his own slice of history.

Victory for the world number one would make him only the third man in history to hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time. The top seed faces Russia's Nikolay Davydenko in the other semi-final on Friday.

Nadal has beaten Djokovic three times in their four meetings including the quarter-finals here last year when the Serb was forced to retire with a back injury when trailing by two sets.

But the 21-year-old Spaniard will not take Djokovic lightly having lost to him in the final at the Miami Masters in March.

"He is one of the best players in the world and a possible future world number one," said Nadal.

Watched by Hollywood star, and fellow Spaniard, Antonio Banderas, Wednesday's quarter-final was no action-thriller but a comedy of errors for 1998 champion Moya who wilted under Nadal's greater power and variety.

In a subdued opening, Nadal struck first to lead 3-2 but Moya, nine years the champion's senior, levelled straightaway when his opponent unleashed a loose drop shot which the 30-year-old pounced upon with a vicious forehand.

Moya, playing his 12th Roland Garros, then squandered his good work by putting in a sloppy service game to allow Nadal to restore his advantage at 4-3.

Nadal didn't allow his fellow Mallorcan a second opportunity and snatched the opening set after 48 minutes.

A double fault by the error-strewn Moya handed Nadal the first break of the second set in the third game for a 2-1 lead which soon became 3-1 courtesy of a confident Nadal service game.

The champion broke a dispirited and bemused Moya in the ninth game to claim the second set.

Moya was down and almost out.

He quickly slipped to 0-4 down before he had to save a match point in the sixth game.

But a double fault, the veteran's third of the tie, gave Nadal another match point which he converted into victory with a big forehand.

Moya, who spends large parts of his free time on tour challenging Nadal at Playstation, said he was disappointed with his straight-sets capitulation.

"I played well in the first set but my level went down after that. I'm a little sad," said the former world number one who was undone in large part by his 38 unforced errors compared to Nadal's 15.  

Nadal's win kept up his record of not having dropped a set at this year's French Open and few will bet against him taking Sunday's final and becoming only the second man in 93 years after Borg (1978-1981) to win three-in-a-row at Roland Garros.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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