Federer eases into semis
Top seed Roger Federer eased into the semi finals of the French Open on Tuesday as he cruised past Mario Ancic in straight sets 6-4 6-3 6-4 to set up a date with number three seed David Nalbandian who ousted Nikolay Davydenko.
The number 12 seed hit back straight away in the second set, breaking his opponent in the opening game. He even seemed set to go a double-break up at 2-0, establishing a 0-40 lead Federer serve. The world number one showed precisely why he has that position though, producing three fantastic points to come back to deuce and eventually hold.
At 3-1, after Ancic had received treatment from the trainer on his right shoulder, the man from Basle broke back and took the next five games in succession with some scintillating play.
Ancic stopped the rot in the first game of the third set, and called the trainer on again, followed by the doctor at 2-1. After a lengthy conversation, the Croat resumed, and seemed to be showing no ill-effects as the both players continued to hold serve until 4-4.
Again, Federer raised his game at the crucial moment, converting breakpoint at the second attempt. He served out the match comfortably, but a tougher test is likely to await in the semi-finals.
NALBANDIAN EDGES DAVYDENKO
It was Davydenko who led early on, breaking his opponent's serve to lead 3-1. That only served to spur Nalbandian into action though, and he ran up five consecutive games - including two breaks of serve - to clinch the opening set.
The Russian again lost his service game midway through the second, as his opponent's shots found the lines. Nalbandian managed to hold his service games and he wrapped up the second set by the same margin as the first.
It had certainly not been easy going for the third seed up until now, and indeed it came as no great surprise when Davydenko came back in the third set. He frequently outmanoeuvred Nalbandian, and broke twice towards the end of the set to force his way into the match.
Hard hitting baseline rallies were the story of the fourth set, though again it was Nalbandian whose shots were the more precise and the more consistent. He broke Davydenko midway through, and served out the final game of the match with ease to seal his progress.
Postcards from Roland