ROLAND GARROS 2014
Nadal Routs Lajovic To Set Ferrer QF
by ATP Staff|
Nadal was ruthless when the pair met in the 2013 final, losing just eight games as he lifted the Coupe des Mousquetaires for the eighth time. But Ferrer exacted some sort of revenge at the start of the 2014 European clay-court swing, beating Nadal on clay for the first time in 10 years with victory in the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters quarter-finals. Nadal leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 21-6.
"I think that I am playing a little bit better than when I was playing against him in Monte-Carlo, but I think he's playing great, too," said Nadal. "He played three weeks in a row at a very high level. In Madrid he played great, in Rome he played great, and he's playing great here.
"He's coming to the match with confidence and with confidence that he beat me the last time. It will be a tough one. I know how to play against him and to have chances to win I need to play very well. That's what I'm going to try. If not, it will be impossible."
Watch Nadal vs. Lajovic Highlights (Courtesy: French Tennis Federation)
The 27-year-old Nadal has a 63-1 record at Roland Garros, with his only defeat coming against Robin Soderling in the 2009 fourth round. The left-hander is looking to win an unprecedented five Roland Garros crowns in a row.
In his first meeting with Lajovic, Nadal was merciless as he routed the 23-year-old Serbian in one hour and 32 minutes, with the singer, Prince, watching courtside. Lajovic was spared a bagel third set as he broke Nadal in the sixth game, but Nadal broke to love in the following game to clinch the victory. Nadal converted seven of his nine break points and benefitted from 42 unforced errors from Lajovic’s racquet.
"I'm happy with the way that I played," said Nadal. "Sure, you never know what's better, but in theory, it's better to win like this than to win longer matches. But you never know what's the best thing for [the rest of the tournament]. I'm happy to be in the quarter-finals. It's a positive result for me."
World No. 83 Lajovic had advanced to the fourth round of a major for the first time and had done so without dropping a set, beating Federico Delbonis, Jurgen Zopp and Jack Sock. It marked a stark turnaround in fortunes for the Belgrade native who, one month ago, had lost in the first round of an ATP Challenger Tour event in Rome.
Nadal claimed the 696th win of his career and is just three wins away from capturing his 14th Grand Slam championship. The Mallorcan has won three ATP World Tour events this season in Doha (d. Monfils), Rio de Janeiro (d. Dolgopolov) and at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament in Madrid (d. Nishikori).