Djokovic-Nadal, Sharapova-Azarenka Lined Up at French Open
by Staff | June 5th, 2013, 11:24 pm

Quarterfinal play on the men’s side Wednesday at the French Open was filled with intrigue — until world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and seven-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal laid their respective hammers down.
Djokovic put down a challenge from No. 12 seed and near-AARP member Tommy Haas 6-3, 7-6(5), 7-5, while Nadal ran through the hot-handed No. 9 seed Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 in matches inexplicably scheduled at the same time at Roland Garros.

“I’m really happy with the way I played today — it was my best match of the year,� said Nadal, who will next meet Djokovic. “Stan was probably tired after his match against Richard (Gasquet) and I feel sorry for him but I played at a very, very good level.”

Djokovic says he is ready to employ his anti-Rafa court-coverage device — a groundstroke game that is seemingly impermeable to Nadal’s high-bouncing, jumpy groundstrokes.

“I have a big fight in front of me and I’m ready for it,” Djokovic said. “I know this is the biggest challenge for me at Roland Garros, no question about it. So of course I was satisfied today to win in three sets and not stay on the court too long.”

On the women’s side the seedings also held in the quarters on Wednesday, but there was more drama as No. 2 Maria Sharapova came from a bagel down to defeat No. 18 Jelena Jankovic 0-6, 6-4, 6-3, and No. 3 Victoria Azarenka put down a challenge from No. 12 Maria Kirilenko 7-6(3), 6-2.

Sharapova committed 20 unforced errors in the first set bagel.

“If it was 6-1 or 6-2 or 6-3 I would have treated it the same way,” said Sharapova of her comeback. “I just didn’t do enough things right to win that set. It was certainly nice to change that around because I wasn’t doing much in that first set.”

Azarenka leads her career meetings with Sharapova 7-5.

“We haven’t played on clay in almost a year,” Sharapova said. “She’s playing really well this tournament. Always a tough match. We have played each other so many times there are really no secrets between each other in terms of our game styles and what we do well and not.”

Azarenka says the key will be the first ball strike.

“It’s a matter of applying your game and not allowing Maria to step up, because she loves to be aggressive and hit the first two shots and make you run after the ball,” Azarenka said. “It’s going to be definitely a battle.”

On court Thursday are the women’s semifinals with (3) Victoria Azarenka vs. (2) Maria Sharapova, and (1) Serena Williams vs. (5) Sara Errani.


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19 Comments for Djokovic-Nadal, Sharapova-Azarenka Lined Up at French Open

Humble Rafa Says:

Marriage Saving Public Service Announcement:

If you are married and watch the match, keep your TV on mute.

You are welcome!

Humble Rafa Says:

^Screechie Vs Queen match

Steve 27 Says:

Serena and Maria, and Saturday, María will be humiliated again by Serena

Nadalista Says:

All Spanish men’s final.

Kimberly Says:

Humble Rafa, I will not watch the replay tonight as the Miami Heat have made the nba final and have their game 1. But thank you for the tips for my relationship. My husband would not allow that match to be watched without muting anyway.

Margot Says:

Please give Colin big birthday hugs from me :)

Jimmy Says:

Nole and Rafa are the first match tomorrow, no West Coast tape delay!

Jimmy Says:

Figures they would want the Tsonga match on Friday prime time in Paris but NBC loses out big time ha ha

jane Says:

Sharapova breaks in the third.

Ben Pronin Says:

From what I remember, NBC will start showing the match from the beginning, on tape, even while it’s being played live. Or something to that dumb effect.

What the hell does NBC show on Friday’s that’s so important that they can’t devote half the day to the semis? Why does NBC still have rights when they do the worst possible job?

Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Kimberly yeah Happy Birthday to your little guy,or rather not so little guy anymore :D.

jane Says:

And Vika breaks back; this one is a battle!

Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Its a battle but not a very good quality match,all seems to be getting decided by UFEs.

jane Says:

And another break…

jane Says:

Sharapova has hit more winners than errors, 32 winners to 28 errors, and Vika is pretty close, with 14 winners and 16 errors. So I wouldn’t say it’s all being “decided by UFEs”.

Part of the issue in their match up is that Sharapova has a better return than serve, and Vika is the reverse, so they tend to play into each other’s weaknesses and there are more breaks as a result, at least that’s how it looks to me?

jane Says:

Well, congrats to Sharapova; she may’ve thrown herself into the lion’s den meeting Serena (in all likelihood) next round, but at least she doesn’t shy away from it.

Sharpie’s and Vika’s rivalry is a good one, actually. Too bad there is so much extraneous noise during their matches.

Actually, today Sharapova “went for it” on her serves – lots of doubles as a result, but thrice as many aces as Vika.

Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Congrats to Maria on making the final,that was some gutsy play there too from Vika shame she couldnt take advantage,i would say shes playing for RU spot though,Serena is just doing everything that much better than everyone else,but Marias Maria and will certainly relish the challenge.

Steve 27 Says:

Errani: should prohibit playing semifinals of a GS. Not remember a match in a GS in a long time so uneven, so one sided.

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