French Open

Nadal downs Ljubicic

2011-05-30 16:17
Rafael Nadal and Ivan Ljubicic (Associated Press)

Paris - Five-time champion Rafael Nadal reached the French Open quarter-finals on Monday with a 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 win over Croatia's Ivan Ljubicic and could face Roland Garros bogeyman Robin Soderling next.

It was another low-key display by the top-seeded Spaniard against the veteran Ljubicic before he took his Paris record to 42 wins and just one loss.

Big-swinging Swedish fifth seed Soderling, who inflicted that shock defeat in the fourth round in 2009 before Nadal gained revenge in the 2010 final, tackles French 18th seed Gilles Simon later on Monday in the last 16.

Nadal, bidding for a sixth French Open title to take him level with Bjorn Borg's record, has looked a shadow of his usual powerful self in Paris, shaken by the super-charged form of Novak Djokovic.

The second seeded Serb snatched his Madrid and Rome Masters claycourt titles in the run-up to Paris, and the pressure appears to be telling.

The great Spaniard dropped 42 games in the first three rounds, the most he has ever surrendered in his French Open career, and needed five sets to see off America's John Isner in the first round.

On Monday, he was a break to the good to lead 2-1 in the opening set before Ljubucic, a 2006 semi-finalist, hit back for 3-3.

Nadal stepped up the pressure on the Croatian's serve, however, and snatched the set when Ljubicic sent his single-handed backhand wide.

Two breaks in the seventh and ninth games of the second set helped Nadal stretch his lead, the set secured with a smart, down-the-line whipped forehand.

A break for 3-1 in the third set seemed to be the foundation that the 24-year-old required, but Ljubicic, at 32 the oldest man left in the draw, hit back for 2-3.

But an immediate break to love gave Nadal a 4-2 lead and he claimed the tie in the ninth game when Ljubicic again went long with a loose backhand.

Read more on:    french open  |  rafael nadal  |  ivan ljubicic
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!
Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.