Rafael Nadal progresses as Andy Roddick is knocked out at the Japan Open
World number one Rafael Nadal defeated Dmitry Tursunov to progress to the semi-finals of the Japan Open on Friday, while Andy Roddick succumbed to Gael Monfils in a lively encounter.
Nadal made short work of Tursunov, winning the match 6–4 6–1 in 72 minutes. The Spaniard, who has won the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open this year, displayed power, speed and a convincing defensive game against the Russian.
"I still have lots of work to win this tournament but it would be very positive for me and a big boost for the rest of the season," he said after the victory.
Despite a low first-serve percentage of 52 per cent, Nadal won 77 per cent of the first serves he did land and broke Tursunov's serve five times during the match.
The Spaniard will face Serbia's Viktor Troicki in Saturday's semi-final.
Monfils triumphs in entertaining encounter
Monfils and Roddick played a more exciting quarter-final, in which the Frenchman won in three sets, 7–6 (7–5) 4–6 7–6 (8–6).
"You never want to lose, but it was one of the best matches I have played since the spring," Roddick said after being knocked out of the tournament. "I feel more comfortable leaving this week than I did coming in."
In the first set, Monfils played a versatile game to overcome the American after going 4–0 up in the tie break. The hard-serving Roddick then stole the only break point of the second set to level the scores.
Monfils squandered three match points at 5–4 in the third set, as Roddick hit two aces and a backhanded volley to draw level on games.
At 7–6 in the tie break, the Frenchman got his fourth match point, which he converted with a shot that passed Roddick, who had approached the net.
"It was a great match. Both of us played great tennis," said Monfils after progressing to the semis, where he will face Czech veteran Radek Stepanek. "I came to the net more than usual. I tried to make my forehand to control the points. I did."