Awesome Nadal crushes Murray to earn Djokovic final

Fri Jun 6, 2014 1:15pm EDT
 
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By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) - Defending champion Rafa Nadal played his best tennis to set up a much-awaited French Open showdown against Novak Djokovic with a 6-3 6-2 6-1 demolition of Wimbledon winner Andy Murray in the semi-finals on Friday.

World number one Nadal, an eight-times Roland Garros winner, did not concede a single break point in a one-sided encounter on Court Philippe Chatrier, sinking the seventh seed with a series of forehand winners.

Murray, looking to become the first British male to reach the Paris final since tennis went professional in 1968, was never in the contest and made too many unforced errors on his usually reliable forehand.

Nadal wrapped up victory on his first match point with a smash on the Scot's serve.

"I think I played some of my best tennis at Roland Garros today," said Nadal after extending his French Open record to 65 wins and one defeat.

"I'm very emotional to reach the final again," he told reporters. "It's a dream. Novak is an unbelievable opponent."

World number two Djokovic, who earlier beat 18th-seeded Latvian Ernests Gulbis in the other semi-final, is one of three men who have beaten Nadal on his favoured red dirt this year.

Nadal slammed 24 winners, most of them with his forehand, against a helpless Murray and converted all six break points he had.   Continued...

 
Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after winning his men's semi-final match against Andy Murray of Britain at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris June 6, 2014.        REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier