June 4, 2014
Rafa Nadal produced a storming comeback to brush aside David Ferrer in the all-Spanish quarter-final at Roland Garros.
He took out Ferrer 4-6, 6-4, 6-0, 6-1 and the King of Clay clearly won’t give up his title easily.
Meanwhile Andy Murray looked to be cruising through to a semi-final clash with Nadal until he took his foot off the gas at two sets ahead, having opened up 6-4, 6-1. That was all the invitation Gael Monfils needed to storm back 6-4, 6-1 as Wednesday’s sun went down in Paris. But incredibly Murray woke up to wipe out the Comeback Kid 6-0 in the decider, at least conserving some precious energy for the big test against Rafa.
It was a mystery how Murray crumbled quite so markedly when he looked to have the match sown up. He wanted to come off for the night even before the fifth set started.
But the Scot was relieved to get an early break in the final set, just when the home favourite had threatened to dump him out of the tournament completely.
By the time it was all over, Murray admitted: ‘It’s very tough to play Gael, we’ve known each other a long time. It was windy at the start, he played much better when the wind calmed down.’
‘I was just lucky that he started the fifth set badly.’
‘Rafa has good memories on this court, I’ll need to recover very well but it’s going to be very, very tough.’
There was no five-set exhaustion for Nadal, who looked back to his best after starting slowly. He crushed an increasingly timid Ferrer to send out a warning to the likes of Murray and Novak Djokovic. The king of clay is here to stay?