After years of struggling on grass, Nadal has looked on fine form on the surface during the past two seasons, and that renewed confidence was on full display today. Against Querrey he was facing an opponent who reached the last four at this tournament just two years ago, and who had beaten fifth seed Dominic Thiem in the first round, and Querrey’s form was on display during a tight first set.
However, after Nadal claimed that opening set in just shy of an hour, it was one way traffic. The Spaniard dominated proceedings and snuffed out any potential opportunities that Querrey had to work his way back into the match, prevailing 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 in two hours and seven minutes to set up a meeting against second seed Roger Federer.
Nadal overcomes tough start to reach semifinals
It was Nadal who drew first blood in the first set, breaking early for a 2-1 lead, and after saving a break point at 4-3 he held two set points on Querrey’s serve, though could not convert them and was punished, with Querrey saving two further set points to break back the next game. The American sent down 14 aces in the first set, though was attacked heavily on his second serve, allowing Nadal to break again, and after saving three break points, the Spaniard converted his fifth set point after 58 minutes.
Unlike the first set, Nadal struck early, breaking Querrey for a 2-1 lead and consolidating to lead 3-1. Querrey nearly got back in the set, holding break points down 2-3, though the third seed saved them, and punished the American by breaking for a second time to lead 5-2. It had taken Nadal two attempts to close the first set out, but he closed out set two with ease to step a set away from the last four.
After looking dangerous early on. Querrey was being overpowered by Nadal by now, and a break in the opening game started to send Nadal to the semifinals. The Spaniard was continuing his fine form the tournament, and a second break of serve handed him a comfortable cushion in set three. Querrey was able to force Nadal to serve it out at 5-2, though the Spaniard faced no problems in serving out the match.
It was a highly impressive performance for Nadal against a strong grass-courter, with 43 winners to just 12 unforced errors flying off the Spanish racket. Nadal will next prepare for his semifinal match against Federer, with the two meeting at this tournament for the first time since Nadal prevailed in the 2008 final.