The French Open semifinals could see a clash between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer after Djokovic progressed into the semis after his opponent Fabio Fognini retired with injury while Federer will face either Monfils or Ferrer.
World number two Djokovic continued on his excellent unbeaten run in the last-16, making it 43 overall victories with 41 wins in 2011, after a 6-4 6-4 6-2 win over local favorite Richard Gasquet. He is within three victories of the best-ever winning streak in Tennis of 46 matchs, set by Gullermo Vilas in 1977, and can also equal record start to a year, set in 1984, with one more victory.
Djokovic progressed into the semifinals of the tournament after his Italian opponent Fabio Fognini retired with cramps following a gruelling four hour five-setter against Albert Montanes in the last-16. He seemed to be in incredible pain by the end of the game and had said when asked of his clash with Djokovic, he said, That's a good question. I'm in a lot of pain now. If I can't play, I retire for sure, but I have 48 hours to recover. Maybe I can, maybe not.
Richard Gasquet, at whose expense Djokovic qualified for the quarters, felt the full force of the Serbian's remarkable form and despite the crowd backing him, he was unable to trouble the second seed.
Afterwards, he said, He's so fast, said Gasquet afterwards. These are flat shots, therefore pressure on you on his returns. He hits the ball so nicely, his returns are incredible. No weak points for him today. No weak points.
Djokovic, however, revealed that the game was tough contrary to what the scoreline suggested.
It's a really demanding sport, he said. You have to travel and play so many matches on different surfaces, different continents, different countries. It really is a mental game.
I think it came over the years because I have been really playing on the top level for the last four years and I have a lot of experience now, even though I'm still young, and I have been trying to learn every single day of my career. Now it's getting together.
Before Djokovic's show in the Court Philippe Chatrier, Federer dished out a 6-3 6-2 7-5 drubbing to fellow Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka. After Federer had a comfortable passage in the first two sets, Wawrinka tested the world number three in the third when he broke early but Fed recovered to make a 28th consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal place.
I thought I played well today, said Federer. I think the first two sets were great, then in the third set it was unfortunate I couldn't get break point in the first game. He took his chance in one service game - maybe I didn't play my very best - and from then on it was a tough match.
Federer will face either Gael Monfils or David Ferrer in the last eight as the match was stopped due to bad light on Sunday with the Frenchman leading 6-4 2-6 7-5 0-2.