Nadal, Sharapova cruise to French Open semis

RAFAEL NADAL of Spain booked a seat in the French Open semifinals with a 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-3 win over compatriot Nicolas Almagro.

It was Nadal’s 50th win in his favorite Grand Slam tournament. His only loss came in 2009 when he played hurt in the fourth round against Robin Soderling of Sweden.

Both players had entered the contest with a perfect 12-0 sets record at this year’s event, and after two hours and 46 minutes, it was Nadal who stood with his arms aloft after firing an ace on match point.

For Almagro, it was yet another defeat to his Spanish Davis Cup teammate and his win-loss record against Nadal now stands at 0-8.

Nadal, seeking a record seventh French Open title, will next face another Spaniard David Ferrer, a 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-3, 62 winner over Briton Andy Murray.

In the distaff side, Maria Sharapova hardly broke a sweat in dealing Kaia Kanepi a 6-2, 6-3 beating in just one hour and 14 minutes. She will meet Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in the semifinals.

The second-seeded Sharapova, bidding to complete a career Grand Slam, lost in the French Open semifinals in 2007 and last year. She won Wimbledon in 2004, the U.S. Open in 2006 and the Australian Open in 2008. Noli S. Cruz

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