After seeing one of the favorites in Novak Djokovic make his way into the semifinals on Day 10, both Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray set up a huge match between members of the famed "Big Four."
The "King of Clay" and Britain's favorite son will square off for a chance to play either Djokovic of Ernests Gulbis, who will also meet in the semifinals.
On the women's side, Andrea Petkovic comes in as the lowest-ranked player in the semifinals along with Simona Halep, the highest-ranked female.
With Day 11 now officially in the books, here's a look at the results and highlights from Roland Garros.
|Men's Quarterfinal Results||Score|
|No. 1 Rafael Nadal def. No. 5 David Ferrer||4-6, 6-4, 6-0, 6-1|
|No. 7 Andy Murray def. No. 23 Gael Monfils||6-4, 6-1, 4-6, 1-6, 6-0|
|Women's Quarterfinal Results||Score|
|No. 4 Simona Halep def. No. 27 Svetlana Kuznetsova||6-2, 6-2|
|No. 28 Andrea Petkovic def. No. 10 Sara Errani||6-2, 6-2|
*Click here to view Day 11 doubles and juniors results via RolandGarros.com.
King of Clay Overcomes Ferrer Late for Semifinals Berth
It wasn't exactly a breeze for Nadal to get past David Ferrer, but he found a way.
After dropping the first set, 4-6, Nadal broke Ferrer's serve in the second set and charged from that point to come away with a comeback win. The match was far better than last year's final in Roland Garros, as Ben Rothenberg of the New York Times notes:
Unlike last year's underwhelming final, David Ferrer looks like he believes he can beat Rafael Nadal today. He wins the first set 6-4. #RG14— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) June 4, 2014
Nadal came out a bit sluggish in the opening set but found his stroke early on in the second. After breaking Ferrer, the world No. 1 returned to his dominant self to control the second and third sets before taking the victory.
Former No. 1 player and U.S. Open champion Andy Roddick provides his thoughts on the hard-fought matchup:
Ferrer and Nadal are physical specimens...Unreal to watch. Nobody on tennis earth gets more out of every ounce of talent than David Ferrer— andyroddick (@andyroddick) June 4, 2014
Following the come-from-behind win, Nadal now moves on to face another familiar opponent in Murray. This will be the 20th matchup between the two top players, with the Spaniard holding a lopsided 14-5 record.
If conditions remain the same as on Day 11 against Murray, Christopher Clarey of the New York Times notes why it could be another tough day for Nadal:
Big challenge for Nadal: Not at best. Cold conditions keep his topspin from bouncing to sky. Playing man who has beaten him on clay in '14— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) June 4, 2014
Though Nadal has never fallen to Murray on a clay surface, the Briton does hold a 2-1 record over the last three matches. With both of those wins coming on a hard court, the eight-time French Open champion will need once again to prove his dominance over Murray to reach his fifth straight final in Paris.
Murray Survives Scare to Set up Huge Clash
While Nadal was struggling to get off to a hot start on the Suzanne Lenglen court, Murray was drubbing Gael Monfils early on at the Philippe Chatrier court.
Before the match got underway, Murray walked out on to the court in a hostile environment, as Sports Illustrated notes:
Andy Murray walked on court with a smile as the boos rained down from the French crowd. Up 3-0 on Monfils. #RG14— Beyond The Baseline (@SI_BTBaseline) June 4, 2014
Murray jumped out to a two-set lead over Monfils and looked to be cruising to his second-ever French Open semifinal. While he only won the first set by a count of 6-4, Murray got off to a blistering pace in the second and won it 6-1 to come just one set away from advancing.
British Tennis points out the hot start for Murray heading into the third set:
Who will win the men's semi?
What followed was a much different match from the seventh-seeded player.
Monfils triumphed in the third set with a 6-4 win to start his comeback. In the fourth, it was once again Monfils who notched a 6-1 win to knot the match up at 2-2, firmly putting Murray against the ropes.
After the emphatic start for Murray, Monfils appeared to have all the momentum heading into the decisive set. Simon Cambers of the Tennis Space notes the marked difference in Murray during the third and fourth sets:
For whatever reason, Andy Murray's attitude changed for the worse midway through the third set, when he was in control. Now he's in trouble— Simon Cambers (@scambers73) June 4, 2014
Murray, as expected, found a way to pull out the final set. Not only did he win the fifth frame, but Murray also routed the French player with a 6-0 win to advance and avoid having to continue the action Thursday.
The Briton now matches up against Nadal, a player who beat him earlier in the year on clay. Whoever advances might just face this year's favorite in Djokovic, who is still in search of a career Slam.
Petkovic, Halep Through to First-Ever Slam Semifinal
At 25 years old, Petkovic has won three WTA titles, nine ITF championships and reached as high as No. 9 in the world rankings. At 22, Halep is currently No. 4 with seven WTA titles and six ITF triumphs.
But until Wednesday at Roland Garros, neither had ever reached a Grand Slam semifinal. Now, they'll face one another for a chance to make their first career Slam final.
Roland Garros' official account provides a look at the crowd's reaction to Halep's victory:
For Petkovic, the German jumped out to an early lead over No. 10 Sara Errani and took the first set 6-2. After the easy win in the first, the second set went much the same with Petkovic trouncing Errani once again by an identical 6-2 score.
Roland Garros gives an image of Petkovic's celebration and thoughts following her huge win:
Finally making it to the semifinal is likely an overwhelming feeling for Petkovic, something she shares with Halep in the next round.
Halep may be younger, but she has been stellar in Grand Slams this season. After reaching the quarterfinals in the Australian Open, the world No. 4 is surging again after getting past Kuznetsova en route to the semis.
Halep also has something else in her corner thus far, as she alluded to during her press conference:
Both women come in with a ton of confidence but will have to face another top player in the final. Whether Maria Sharapova or Eugenie Bouchard wins, either will be stiff competition for the young players moving forward.
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