Millennium Post

Rafa is in Djoker's way!

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will meet in a much-anticipated French Open semi-final after both won their quarter-finals in straight sets. Seven-time champion Nadal saw off Stanislas Wawrinka 6-2 6-3 6-1 on Court Philippe Chatrier, while world number one Djokovic beat Tommy Haas 6-3 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 on Court Suzanne Lenglen. The two tournament favourites, and last year’s finalists, will face each other on Friday, with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga playing David Ferrer in the other semi-final.

‘I will have to raise my game for the next match. Nadal is in great form but the win in Monte Carlo has given me great confidence. I will be positive,’ said Djokovic. Meanwhile, Maria Sharapova survived a nightmare start to hold on to her French Open crown with a 0-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over tough Jelena Jankovic in a compelling quarterfinal tie on Wednesday.

The Russian was all over the place for a set and 30 minutes, but with the Roland Garros exit door beckoning, she steadied her nerves enough to start applying the firepower she needed to derail a brave challenge from the Serb.The defending champion and second seed will play third seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, who defeated Maria Kirilenko of Russia, for a place in Saturday’s final.

‘She played such a great match from the beginning and was very aggressive,’ Sharapova said of her opponent. ‘I knew after the first set that I had to change things around. I just had to erase the chapter and move forward. I still felt I was in the match and I broke her in the first game (of the second).
World number three Victoria Azarenka reached her first French Open semifinal on Wednesday when she defeated friend and former doubles partner, Maria Kirilenko of Russia, 7-6 (7/3), 6-2.

The 23-year-old Australian Open winner will face defending champion Maria Sharapova, the second seed, who beat Serbian 18th seed Jelena Jankovic, 0-6, 6-4, 6-3, for a place in Saturday’s final after clinching a fourth successive victory over Russian 12th seed Kirilenko. Kirilenko simply lacked the armoury to upset Azarenka with whom she had reached the final of the women’s doubles at the Australian Open in 2012.

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