Chalk held up for the most part on Day 9 at the 2014 French Open from Roland Garros as superstars like Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray kept their title hopes alive with surgical performances on the stadium courts.
Eight-time men's champion Nadal was untouchable in his straight-sets fourth-round win, while Murray delivered in the clutch to reach just his fourth career French Open quarterfinal.
Below you'll find complete results and highlights of Monday's Grand Slam action.
|Men's Results—Round of 16||Score|
|(1) Rafael Nadal def. Dusan Lajovic||6-1, 6-2, 6-1|
|(5) David Ferrer def. (19) Kevin Anderson||6-3, 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-1|
|(7) Andy Murray def. (24) Fernando Verdasco||6-4, 7-5, 7-6(3)|
|(23) Gael Monfils def. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez||6-0, 6-2, 7-5|
|Women's Results—Round of 16||Score|
|(4) Simona Halep def. (15) Sloane Stephens||6-4, 6-3|
|(10) Sara Errani def. (6) Jelena Jankovic||7-6(5), 6-2|
|(27) Svetlana Kuznetsova def. (23) Lucie Safarova||6-3, 6-4|
|(28) Andrea Petkovic def. Kiki Bertens||1-6, 6-2, 7-5|
*Click here to view complete Day 9 doubles and juniors results via RolandGarros.com.
Nadal Improves to 63-1 at Roland Garros
Determined to keep his winning streak alive, Rafael Nadal left no doubts against Dusan Lajovic in his fourth-round matchup on Monday, crushing the Serb in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2, 6-1, to reach his ninth career French Open quarterfinal.
The win not only improves Nadal to 63-1 all time on the Paris clay, but it also bodes extremely well for the Spaniard, who has never lost the French Open after getting past the round of 16.
Although he was content to soak in the victory, per Roland Garros on Twitter, Nadal will have little time to rest as he's set to face compatriot David Ferrer in the quarterfinals later this week:
Nadal leads the all-time head-to-head with Ferrer 21-6 but has lost two of their previous three meetings, including a clay-court showdown in the quarterfinals of Monte Carlo earlier this year.
While Nadal clearly boasts the stronger record of the two, a lack of confidence could potentially derail his bid to knock off his countryman for the third straight year at the French Open. Regardless, the favorite will be busy celebrating his 28th birthday on his off day on Tuesday.
Last American Sent Packing
The last American player standing in the two singles draws, 15th-seeded Sloane Stephens was bounced from the fourth round of the women's draw on Monday for the third straight year, falling 6-4, 6-3 to Romania's Simona Halep.
The 21-year-old fought valiantly in her straight-sets loss to the No. 4 seed, but struggled immensely on serve and committed far too many unforced errors to win, finishing with 35 for the match.
Afterward, Halep, who was broken four times but converted on 6-of-6 break points of her own, wasn't shy about how she felt about her performance, per Roland Garros on Twitter:
Halep, who has yet to drop a single set en route to the quarterfinals, is set to face a tough test in 2009 French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in the next round.
Meanwhile, the future remains bright for Stephens. The up-and-coming American made a stellar run to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon last summer and will have a chance to build on that effort later this month when the season's third Grand Slam kicks off from the All England Club in London.
The "Little Beast" Delivers
As already mentioned, Ferrer is through to the quarterfinals at Roland Garros for the third straight year.
The 32-year-old clay-court specialist, often referred to as the "Little Beast" because of his tenacity, was clinical in his 6-3, 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-1 win over 19th-seeded South African Kevin Anderson, as pointed out by tennis analyst Brad Gilbert:
Little beast Ferrerr about to slam the the door shut on Anderson— Brad Gilbert (@bgtennisnation) June 2, 2014
Although Ferrer squandered an opportunity to finish Anderson off in a third-set tiebreak, he would close out the match in convincing fashion in the fourth set, winning 6-1 in under a half an hour.
Following the impressive showing, in which he connected on 47 winners to just 24 unforced errors, Ferrer will be ultra confident heading into his quarterfinal clash with Nadal. So long as Ferrer is able to win points off of Nadal's second serve and chase down balls as he always does, he'll have a puncher's chance to pull off an unthinkable upset.
Having reached his first-ever Grand Slam final here a year ago, Ferrer won't be short on confidence when he steps onto the court, that's for sure.
Murray Continues March Through Men's Draw
Murray entered this year's French Open as a dark-horse contender in the men's draw, but following another impressive showing on Monday, the two-time major winner is one win away from just his second career French Open semifinal.
It wasn't always pretty for Murray in his fourth-round win over 24th-seeded Fernando Verdasco, but the 27-year-old stepped up time and time again in the key moments, out-dueling the Spaniard in straight sets despite committing a whopping 50 unforced errors.
As The New York Times' Ben Rothenberg notes, Murray will next face off against the very entertaining Frenchman Gael Monfils:
Andy Murray is through, 6-4, 7-5, 7-6(3) over Fernando Verdasco. His quarterfinal against Monfils should be a spectacular circus. #RG14— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) June 2, 2014
A former semifinalist at Roland Garros in 2008, Monfils beat Murray in their only previous French Open meeting back in 2006, winning in five sets.
The Scotsman leads the all-time head-to-head 3-2, but the two men haven't met on clay since Murray's debut effort at Roland Garros and haven't matched up anywhere on tour since 2010. Therefore, you can expect a lengthy feeling-out process early on and several momentum swings over the course of this match.
What to Watch for on Day 10
With both the men's and women's singles draws narrowed down to the final eight, quarterfinal action will begin on Tuesday as men's favorite Novak Djokovic looks to secure a semifinal berth by beating overlooked Canadian Milos Raonic.
Which favorite is the safer pick to win the 2014 French Open?
Raonic pushed Djokovic to three sets in Rome last month, but will certainly be up against it in Tuesday's best-of-five matchup.
On the women's side, 2012 French Open champion and current favorite Maria Sharapova will be in action on Court Philippe Chatrier. The seventh-seeded Russian will take on the upset-minded Garbine Muguruza, who made headlines during the tournament's first week when she knocked off defending champion Serena Williams in the second round.
Keep in mind that Sharapova won their only previous meeting in Rome last year.
With the oddsmakers labeling Djokovic and Sharapova the favorites to win on the men's and women's side, respectively, Tuesday's results are sure to go a long way toward determining the outcome of this year's French Open.
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