French Open semifinals: Rafael Nadal vs. Andy Murray
One of the best French Open semifinals in years begins Friday morning U.S. time at Roland Garros in Paris when top-seeded Rafael Nadal faces fourth seed Andy Murray. Nadal is a -650 favorite on WagerWeb.com while Murray is +350.
Nadal is the defending French Open champion and is gunning for his sixth title at Roland Garros overall, which would tie Bjorn Borg for the most ever. Nadal still has lost just one match in his career at this tournament, coming in 2009 to Robin Soderling in the fourth round. Nadal clearly has gotten his revenge on Soderling, beating him soundly in the final last year and then again in the quarterfinals this year, 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (3) on Wednesday. That improved Nadal to 43-1 at Roland Garros. After dropping the first two sets of his first-round match to John Isner, Nadal hasn’t lost a set.
“I am through. I’m in the semifinals, so that’s the thing,” Nadal said. “I have to be playing better and better every day if I want to have chances to win the final and that’s what I’m going to try.”
Murray, who has yet to win a Grand Slam tournament and, reached the French Open semifinals for the first time in his career by beating Juan Ignacio Chela 7-6 (2), 7-5, 6-2. Murray, who lost in the final of the Australian Open earlier this year, has been playing through torn tendons he suffered in his third-round win here.
Nadal said that while Murray might be in pain from his ankle, the Scotsman is able to handle it and referred to the tough five-set victory over Viktor Troicki in the Round of 16 as an example.
“I believe that Murray was able to play five-setters lately, and I don’t believe the fact that he has some pain in the ankle will limit his performance at all,” Rafa said.
In addition to the icing and treatment, Murray will also spend Thursday watching some videos of his past matches again Nadal.
“You’re going to need all of your reserves to get through a match with Rafa at the French,” he said.
Nadal leads the all-time series with Murray 10-4. They met earlier this year on the clay at Monte Carlo and Nadal won 6-4, 2-6, 6-1. Nadal is 3-0 vs. Murray on clay. All of Murray’s wins have come on hardcourts.