Spanish inquisition for Murray at French Open

Andy Murray will be the odd man out in Wednesday's two remaining quarter-finals at the French Open.

The Scot will be corralled by three Spaniards, with, at their head, the imposing figure of six-time former champion Rafael Nadal.

But Nadal's steely focus will be riveted on Nicolas Almagro as the Majorcan continues his quest to become the first man to win seven French Open titles, breaking him out of the tie he is in with Swedish legend Bjorn Borg.

Murray will have his eyes on David Ferrer, one of the finest claycourters of the last few years, but who has yet to make it past the last eight at Roland Garros.

The Scot, who came good in his fourth round tie against Richard Gasquet of France after an abysmal start that saw him once again bothered by pain in his lower back, has never beaten Ferrer on clay and he is full of admiration for his 30-year-old opponent.

"I think he's one of the toughest guys to play on any surface," Murray said.

"He's number five in the world, and he's been there for a long time now. He's had a good clay court season so far.

"I've always found it tough against him on clay in matches and in practice. I train with him quite a lot, and I get on very well with him.

"We know each other's games very well, and he's one of the best players in the world on any surface, so it's going to be a tough match."

Murray made the semi-finals here last year before losing in straight sets to Nadal and now has in his corner Czech legend Ivan Lendl, who finally made his Grand Slam breakthrough here in 1984 with his famous five-set win over John McEnroe.

Murray's former coach Alex Corretja is now close to Ferrer as Spain's Davis Cup coach, but Murray is not too concerned about him giving away any insights into his game.

"It will be up to who plays the better tennis on the day. I don't necessarily think that Alex will be able to help him a lot," he said.

Almagro's hopes against Nadal, on the face of it, look slim to say the least.

The defending champion leads their head-to-heads by 7-0, including two straight sets wins here in 2008 and 2010.

And Nadal, bouncing back from his Australian Open final loss to Novak Djokovic, has looked well nigh unbeatable in Paris losing just 19 games in four rounds for his best ever start at Roland Garros.

Still, Nadal says he is wary of Almagro, who is on an eight-match winning streak on clay, having won the Nice tournament in the week before Paris.

"He has fantastic shots. His serve helps. He has a very good serve. First and second serve are fantastic.

"Then, after this serve, he's able to play aggressive. He's able to hit the ball in the right conditions, in a good position. It's very difficult to stop him.

"So my work has to be to put him in difficult positions, try to play long, try to play a little bit to the sides, to the angles, make him play a little bit more uncomfortable."

A win for Nadal would be his 50th at Roland Garros since he first appeared as an 18-year-old in 2005. His only defeat came against Sweden's Robin Soderling in a fourth round match in 2009.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • US ambassador recovers from knife attack praised by N. Korea
    US ambassador recovers from knife attack praised by N. Korea

    The US ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was recovering from surgery Thursday after having his face and arm slashed by a knife-wielding activist in an attack applauded by North Korean state media. The United States condemned the "act of violence" which saw the ambassador rushed to hospital where his condition was described as stable after two-and-a-half hours of surgery that included 80 stitches to a deep gash on his right cheek. During the assault, Kim screamed a slogan in favour of …

  • New Moro rebel group emerges
    New Moro rebel group emerges

    A radical Muslim cleric trained in the Middle East and considered one of the leaders of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) has broken away from the terror group to form his own band of jihadists who are now reportedly providing sanctuary to bomb expert Basit Usman and at least five foreign militants, the military said yesterday. Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla, citing reports from the field, said the Justice for Islamic Movement (JIM) was …

  • Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires
    Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires

    Eleven Filipinos are included in Forbes’ 2015 list of richest people in the world. Filipino-Chinese tycoon Henry Sy Sr. continues to be the wealthiest man in the Philippines. The 90-year-old SM supermalls, banking and property tycoon ranked 73rd among the world’s richest with an increased net worth of $14.2 billion from $11.4 billion last year. Sy’s net worth was attributed to the continued growth of his SM Investments Corp. and his more recent venture, the City of Dreams Manila resort and …

  • US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines
    US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen said Wednesday he had found one of Japan's biggest and most famous battleships on a Philippine seabed, some 70 years after American forces sank it during World War II. Excited historians likened the discovery, if verified, to finding the Titanic, as they hailed the American billionaire for his high-tech mission that apparently succeeded after so many failed search attempts by others. Allen posted photos and video online of parts of what he said was the …

  • World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too
    World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too

    TOKYO (AP) — The world's oldest person says 117 years doesn't seem like such a long time. …

  • Billionaire finds wreck of WWII ship in Phl
    Billionaire finds wreck of WWII ship in Phl

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen says he has found the Japanese Navy’s biggest warship at the bottom of the sea in the Philippines, 70 years after US forces sank it. Allen posted a photo on Twitter on Tuesday of the World War II battleship Musashi’s rusty bow, which bore the Japanese empire’s Chrysanthemum seal. The American billionaire, who has also pursued space exploration, said his luxury yacht and exploration ship, the M/Y Octopus, found the Musashi one kilometer (1.6 miles) deep on the …

  • Ohio mom, boyfriend guilty; child emailed teacher for help

    PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (AP) — A woman and her boyfriend pleaded guilty to raping her young children and were sentenced to prison on Wednesday, a year after one of her daughters emailed a teacher for help and said she and her siblings were being chained to their beds, deprived of food and sexually assaulted. …

  • Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media
    Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media

    By Jane Wardell and Beawiharta SYDNEY/DENPASAR, Indonesia (Reuters) - Two convicted Australian drug smugglers were removed from a prison in Bali on Wednesday to be taken to an Indonesian island where they will be shot by firing squad, Australian media reported. The planned executions of Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31, have ratcheted up diplomatic tensions amid repeated pleas of mercy for the pair from Australia and thrown a spotlight on Indonesia's increasing use of the death …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options