French Open: Federer Bites The Dust, Ana Reaches Semis

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Day 10 of the 2015 French Open witnessed two upsets on the men’s side as quarter-final action began at the claycourt Slam on Tuesday. The result that stood out was the straight sets hammering of Roger Federer by his compatriot Stan Wawrinka. The eighth-seeded Swiss delivered a tennis masterclass to stun the favourite and former champion Federer 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(4) en route to his maiden semifinal at Roland Garros.

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Roger Federer (left) and Stan Wawrinka after their quarter-final match at the French Open.

Joining him in the last-four stage was the crowd favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who edged past fifth seed Kei Nishikori 6-1, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3.

On the women’s side, Ana Ivanovic and Lucie Safarova set up a rematch of their last year’s third round showdown as both progressed to the semis with straight-set victories.

In junior action, India’s Pranjala Yadlapalli reached the quarter-finals of girls’ doubles while Sumit Nagal crashed out in boys’ singles second round.

Stunner from Stan

With Stan Wawrinka ripping 43 winners and blustery conditions making it even more difficult, gone were Roger Federer’s chances. Stan Wawrinka was poised, determined and never faltered in his 6–4, 6–3, 7–6(4) win over Roger.

Wawrinka had so much control over his serve that the 17-time Grand Slam champion never even managed to break Stan’s serve! This is the first time since the 2002 US Open that Roger actually failed to break his opponent’s serve in a Grand Slam match.

Tsonga delights home crowd

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga celebrates after his win

It was a brilliant effort from the 14th seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who had been suffering from a few injuries lately. Tsonga, who had previously made a semi-final at the French Open, looked to be cruising to victory when he took a two sets to love lead. The match was halted for unfortunate reasons as pieces of debris fell and injured a couple of spectators.

However, the fifth-seeded Kei Nishikori staged a spectacular recovery after the break to take the next two sets as Tsonga continued to fluff multiple break point opportunities. But it was a very special effort from the Frenchman in the fifth set. With the crowd firmly rooted behind its homegrown player, Tsonga broke the Japanese in the third game and held on for a 6–1, 6–4, 4–6, 3–6, 6–3 victory.

After the match, the grateful Frenchman wrote on clay – ‘Roland Je t’aime’ (Roland, I love you). Tsonga’s heartfelt and emotional thanks to the crowd was a beautiful appreciation of the support that he had received to make it this far.

First French Open semi-final for Ana after seven years

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A beaming Ana Ivanovic after her win

Ana Ivanovic had endured a torrid time since lifting the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen in 2008. But on Tuesday, she erased all those bitter memories to make a happy return to the semis after seven years.

The Serb was aggressive and blasted 37 winners past young Ukrainian Elina Svitolina. Never putting her foot off the pedal, the 27-year-old posted a 6–3, 6–2 win.

The former top-ranked Serb was understandably pleased and emotional after making the semis once again:

“It’s been a long time. So I really am pleased. I know the feeling and the emotions, and also winning on Philippe Chatrier, it means a lot to me.”

Safarova sizzles again

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Lucie Safarova exults after reaching the French Open semis

A day after knocking out the defending women’s champion Maria Sharapova, the 13th seeded Czech Lucie Safarova kept up her rampaging run through the draw as she outsmarted Spaniard Garbine Muguruza. In a high-quality match, the Czech kept peppering the court with her fabulous backhand returns and the movement of both the women was a treat to watch.

Garbine made a few in-roads into Safarova’s game but failed to consolidate the breaks which tilted the match in Safarova’s favour. The Czech emerged victorious with a 7–6, 6–3 scoreline to advance to her second career major semi. The win will also see her making her top 10 debut on Monday.

Yadlapalli wins in doubles, Nagal out

India’s top junior girl Pranjala Yadlapalli continued her French Open campaign in doubles. The seventh-seeded pair of Yadlapalli and Wushuang Zheng beat Maia Lumsden/Anastasia Gasanova 7-5, 6-4 to enter the quarter-finals.

However, Sumit Nagal’s challenge ended in boys’ singles. Nagal, who took the first set 6-2 against the eighth-seeded Yunseong Chung, went down in three sets as the Korean came storming back to win 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Quarter-finals continue on Day 11: It’s Novak v Rafa

It’s the much-awaited Rafael Nadal v Novak Djokovic showdown on Wednesday at the 2015 French Open. All eyes will be on the seventh meeting between the two legends which is also a rematch of last year’s final. Also looking for a semi-final berth is third-seeded Andy Murray. However, it is an uphill task for him as he has never beaten David Ferrer on clay.

On the women’s side, top-ranked Serena Williams will look to continue her quest for her third Roland Garros title as she squares off against 2012 runner-up Sara Errani. The other women’s quarter-final involves two debutantes – Timea Bacsinszky v Alison Van Uytvanck.




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