Of course, the biggest news in the quarterfinals was that David Ferrer won over the #1 seed Rafael Nadal in straight sets. It’s been 10 years since Ferrer has been victorious over Nadal. Since Nadal won the Monte Carlo men’s singles event eight years in a row until last year when he was beaten by Djokovic, he will be sorely missed in the semis.
Not that Djokovic was having an easy time of it. Playing the unseeded Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Djokovic found himself one set down, 4-6. Even in the second set, Djokovic saved a break point in the fifth game, and then two more break points in the seventh game. But building on his momentum, Djokovic then broke Garcia-Lopez twice and took the second set. Garcia-Lopez just seemed to lose his game in the third set, and Djokovic won comfortably, 6-1, to win the match.
Speaking afterwards, Djokovic told the press, “I started very poorly. Garcia-Lopez played well and I had to work for this win. I finally started to play as I wanted in the second set.”
Djokovic meets Roger Federer in the semifinal, their 34th tournament match together. So far this season, Federer won against Djokovic in Dubai, but lost in the men’s singles final to Djokovic in Indian Wells.
Federer beat Wilfried Tsonga from France, but he also didn’t find it easy. In fact, after Tsonga took the first set 6-2, he was 6-5 up in the second set, and he was at 0-30 on Federer’s serve. Just two points away from the semifinals. But that’s when Federer forced a tiebreak, and then won the tiebreak to even up the game. Federer won the last set, 6-1, to win his place in the semis.
Speaking after the match, Federer spoke to journalists, “It was just many things went wrong at the wrong time for me – Jo playing well, me playing wrong at certain times, wrong shot selections. I’m happy I found the way to tough it out.”
Stanislas Wawrinka won his semifinal spot beating Milos Raonic in straight sets, 7-6, 6-2. Wawrinka was feeling confident after his win, “I just feel strong from the baseline. I feel good physically. I know that on clay courts, if I play my best tennis, I can beat those guys.”