Nadal reaches ninth French Open semi
Paris, France (SportsNetwork.com) - In a rematch of last year's all-Spanish final, eight-time champion Rafael Nadal once again beat David Ferrer in Wednesday's quarterfinal action at the French Open.
The world No. 1 Nadal improved to 64-1 lifetime at Roland Garros with a come- from-behind 4-6, 6-4, 6-0, 6-1 victory over his fifth-seeded compatriot. The match started later in the day after a three-hour rain delay prevented the ladies from taking to the famed clay courts at Chatrier and Lenglen.
Nadal's semifinal opponent on Friday will be seventh-seeded Wimbledon champion Andy Murray or 23rd-seeded French crowd favorite Gael Monfils, who are currently battling on Chatrier.
The 13-time Grand Slam winner Nadal captured a fourth straight French Open title and eighth overall championship here a year ago by besting Ferrer in the finale.
Nadal, who turned 28 on Tuesday, is now 22-6 lifetime against the 32- year-old Ferrer, including a perfect 4-0 mark at Roland Garros. Ferrer upset Nadal on clay in Monte Carlo back in April.
The amazing Nadal is trying to become the first man to capture five straight French Open championships.
Friday's other semifinal will pit second-seeded former world No. 1 Novak Djokovic against 18th-seeded Ernests Gulbis, who will appear in his first-ever major semi. Djokovic will perform in his sixth French Open final four (1-4) and is 4-1 in his career versus Gulbis.
The six-time major champion Djokovic was the French Open runner-up two years ago and still needs this title to complete a career Grand Slam. And if he wins the championship this week he would also reclaim the world No. 1 ranking.
The 27-year-old Djokovic is a 22-time Grand Slam semifinalist.
The 25-year-old Gulbis is currently riding a nine-match winning streak and already owns a pair of titles in France this season, including one in Nice just one day before the French Open commenced. He's 13-0 on French soil for the year.
Gulbis has not lost to a seeded player at a Grand Slam event since the 2010 Australian Open, compiling a 5-0 mark.
06/04 15:36:24 ET