PARIS — The ease with which Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic swept aside their quarterfinal opponents at the French Open was remarkably similar.
Both men won in straight sets Wednesday, hardly challenged. Both earned 12 break points, Nadal converting seven, Djokovic five. Nadal’s serve was broken only once, Djokovic’s twice.
In what amounted to heavy-duty practice sessions for the real test that lies ahead, Nadal needed 1 hour, 56 minutes to beat No. 9-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 in Court Philippe Chatrier, while a short walk away, Djokovic’s 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), 7-5 victory over No. 12 Tommy Haas in Court Suzanne Lenglen lasted just 17 minutes longer.
Now comes the showdown everyone’s been anticipating since the field was set: a Djokovic vs. Nadal semifinal Friday that will have the feel of a final, and not only because they met for the championship at Roland Garros a year ago.
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“A lot of people in the tennis world are looking to the matchup coming up with Rafa and Novak,” said Haas, who at 35 was the oldest French Open quarterfinalist since 1971. “I’ll definitely be watching.”
Who wouldn’t? Djokovic, ranked No. 1, against Nadal, owner of a record seven French Open titles.
No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France faces No. 4 David Ferrer of Spain.
The women’s semifinals Thursday are No. 1 Serena Williams against No. 5 Sara Errani, and No. 2 Maria Sharapova against No. 4 Victoria Azarenka.