Paris, June 5
Defending champion Rafael Nadal stormed into the French Open quarter-finals as three Spaniards plus Andy Murray made it through to the last eight in the bottom half of the draw.
Nadal demolished Juan Monaco of Argentina 6-2, 6-0, 6-0 in an awesome display of claycourt tennis that must have sent shivers through his rivals for the title.
Murray then joined Nadal with a disjointed 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 win over Frenchman Richard Gasquet.
The Scot will play Ferrer, while Nadal will go for his 50th win at Roland Garros against Almagro.
Second seed Nadal won 17 games in succession to destroy Monaco and afterwards said he had to feel sorry for his close friend for suffering such a heavy defeat.
The Spaniard, bidding to become the first man to capture seven Roland Garros singles titles, celebrated his 26th birthday on Sunday while title rivals Djokovic and Federer were struggling into the last eight.
Monaco, the 13th seed, went into Monday’s match with solid claycourt form under his belt having captured titles in Vina del Mar and Houston this year.
But he had lost all three previous clay meetings against Nadal, claiming just 10 games in the process, and the 28-year-old was swept aside again by the champion in just one hour and 46 minutes on Suzanne Lenglen court.
Fourth seed Murray looked all at sea for a set and a half before his fourth round clash with Gasquet turned dramatically late in the second set as the Scot found his touch and Gasquet totally lost his.
The win means that Murray has reached a Grand Slam quarter-final for the sixth straight time, with Ferrer, who he has never betean on clay, waiting for him as his opponent.
For Gasquet there was the disappointment of failing
to join countryman Tsonga in the last eight. The last time two Frenchman made the quarter-finals at Roland Garros was in 1990.
"He started very, very well, went for his shots, high risk and was playing unbelievable," Murray said of his opponent.
"I was lucky to turn it around at the end of the second set and then I started to play a lot better."
In the women’s matches, defending champion Li Na crashed out of the French Open on Monday while Maria Sharapova survived a deluge of errors on a bitterly cold day in Paris to struggle into the quarter-finals.
Li, who was Asia’s first Grand Slam singles champion when she took the 2011 title, lost her crown at the fourth round stage, going down 3-6, 6-2, 6-0 to Kazakh qualifier Yaroslava Shvedova, the world 142.
Sharapova struggled into the quarter-finals, defeating Czech veteran Klara Zakopalova 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2 in an error-scarred clash which featured 21 breaks of serve.
The Russian second seed, seeking a Roland Garros title to complete a career Grand Slam, goes on to face Estonian 23rd seed Kaia Kanepi who put out Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands 6-1, 4-6, 6-0.