Murray bundled out in Paris as Soderling streak continues

June 3rd, 2009 - 1:24 am ICT by IANS  

Rafael Nadal Paris, June 2 (DPA) Chile’s baseline blaster Fernando Gonzalez hammered third seed Andy Murray out of the French Open quarter-finals 6-3, 3-6, 6-0, 6-4 Tuesday, firing 45 winner to sink the Scot.
Gonzalez will line up against tournament surprise packet Robin Soderling, who followed up his weekend ouster of Rafael Nadal by crushing Nikolay Davydenko 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 to claim his third straight seeded victim at Roland Garros.

Murray, who had title hopes after Nadal and Novak Djokovic made early exits, was well off the game. He failed to become just the second British man in the post-1968 Open era to reach the Paris semis after Tim Henman in 2004.

Gonzalez clocked 45 winners with his mighty forehand, leaving Murray with less than 20 in two and a quarter hours. The 12th-seeded Chilean broke six times and used his cannonball returns to keep Murray from doing much damage.

The loss still kept Murray’s record against South Americans a respectable 17 of his last 21.

Soderling continued to live a tennis dream, which began when he upset Spain’s 14th seed David Ferrer in the third round last week before toppling four-time winner Nadal.

The Swede stunned Russia’s Davydenko, a two-time Paris semi-finalist, with 34 winners and six breaks of serve as the 24-year-old lifted his modest Grand Slam record to 20-21.

“You’re expecting a really, really tough match in the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam, but I have to say it was a little bit tougher than the score was,” said the winner. “I was a little bit lucky in the beginning. I saved two break points in the first game and I broke him straightaway.”

Women’s world number one Dinara Safina of Russia had to rescue her match to keep the distance between chasing Serena Williams, coming back for a 1-6, 6-4, 6-2 defeat of Victoria Azarenka.

The Belarus bomber who won the Miami title in April, looked on her way in the first set to a knockout of the top seed, who needed to win to hold off number 2 Williams in the rankings chase.

Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia will be the next opponent for Safina after almost sending Maria Sharapova out with a “double bagel” before the Russian rallied in a 6-0, 6-2 defeat.

“I guess you could only ask your body to do so much,” said Sharapova, a three-time Grand Slam winner just back from nine months of shoulder problems.

“Everything fell a little short today. The pace wasn’t there on my strokes, and, you know, I was five steps slower today.

“She made me hit a lot of balls, she was very solid. She did the right things in order to win.”

It took Cibulkova five match point to finally go through, the delighted youngster rolling on her back in the red clay after securing the victory.

Safina had dropped just five games in reaching the quarter-finals, but suddenly found herself in a match against Azarenka.

“She was playing well, and basically I was not doing anything to complicate it,” said Safina. “I was playing exactly in her zone: everything to the middle. I just lost the set.

“In the third, every time I was break up, but I was always struggling to hold my serve. I’m not really happy with my game today.”

The Russian improved to 33-6 on the season after winning clay titles at her last two events in Rome and Madrid.

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