Welcome to Sports Mole
's live coverage from the French Open
as Rafael Nadal
takes on Stanislas Wawrinka
in the last eight.
We all know who the favourites for this match is. Nadal, the 'King of Clay', is looking pretty special at the moment and is on course to defend his French Open crown.
The players are out and are warming up with a rally. We're not too far away from the start of this match.
There is plenty of support for Rafael Nadal, who in recent years has made Roland Garros his second home with all his successes here.
We're off here! Wawrinka to serve first.
BREAK! It doesn't take long for the champion to turn on the style. Nadal storms to a triple break point straight away, which forces Wawrinka to play a sweet shot down the line for a point. He is taking time to think about his next point, and hands Nadal the first game.
Nadal is just so good. Wawrinka is struggling to read Nadal, who has so many options within his arsenal. He storms to a triple break point once again in this game, before slicing an effort into the net after a fine return from the opponent. Nadal seals the game though with a powerful serve that is knocked out of bounds. Nadal is two games up inside six minutes.
Wawrinka gets the opening point with a terrific serve before falling behind to 30-15. However, Nadal spurns an effort into the net from the baseline, as the Swiss sets his sights on a first game. The two then trade powerful winners to send the game into deuce. Wawrinka takes the advantage before forcing Nadal to set him up with a simple backhand to take the game.
Nadal is cruising on his serve until he smashes a long effort beyond the baseline to make it 30-15. His shot is one of almighty power today, but he goes against this and seemingly runs out of ideas when he places a poor drop shot out of bounds with Wawrinka on the ropes. An instant hammer forehand gives the Spaniard the break point which he seals with an awesome backhand.
BREAK! This one will hurt Wawrinka, who is growing in confidence and is starting to take the game to Nadal. He hits a superb forehand to put himself 40-30 up, but Nadal saved the game by taking it to deuce with a backhand. The Swiss takes the advantage four times before overcooking a forehand. The Spaniard then turned it around and took his second break of serve off the advantage.
This game goes rather quickly compared to the last one. Wawrinka now needs to hold serve to stay in the set.
Wawrinka smashes a volley into the net after a lengthy rally and crushes his racquet in frustration at the second time of asking.
Wawrinka takes to Nadal to deuce before relinquishing the advantage. The Spaniard then plants his initiative into the net before giving the break point back to the Swiss. Wawrinka wraps up the game with a cracking forehand.
GAME, SET NADAL Nadal takes the first set in about 40 minutes after a clinical performance in the final game.
Wawrinka starts the game very well and is causing problems with his serve. He gives himself three game points and takes the opening game after Nadal hits the net.
Nadal twice gets fortunate as he levels the score at 30-30 after clipping the net on the latest point. Wawrinka is growing frustrated and gifts Nadal the game point by hitting his return well out, which he duly provides him with as he slices a drop shot into the net.
Wawrinka needs to keep his emotions and frustrations in check, otherwise Nadal is going to run away with this. When in focus, he is giving the Spaniard a real battle, but just needs to engage in less 'racquet-smashing' moments.
Nadal edges another close game after seeing off the Swiss from a 40-30 position to turn this set around.
Nadal hits his third ace of the match as he moves into a 30-15 lead in the game, but is undone by a tremendous drop shot from Wawrinka which he still manages to get a racquet to. He then wins the game with a scintillating backhand which sees Nadal slide across the court. Awesome.
Wawrinka fires back and has the chance to pick up a 0-service game with an almighty ace. However, Nadal reduces the deficit with a forehand and backhand combination that had Wawrinka stretched. The Swiss managed to hold on and take the game though.
BREAK! Crucial game for Wawrinka, as he shows an awesome array of shorts as he throws the proverbial kitchen sink at Nadal to take the first point but is quickly pegged back to 15-15. Wawrinka then lets out a huge cry as they has two breaks points to snatch the game from Nadal. A second cry is then unleashed by the Swiss, but this time it is due to his overhit effort. A third shout marks conceding a second straight point to take the game to deuce. Wawrinka takes the early advantage and is in danger of losing control the game should he not break Nadal. However, the champion hits his effort wide to gift Wawrinka the game.
Wawrinka will serve to have the chance of taking the lead in this match for the first time.
BREAK! No let up from Nadal as he zones in on a break of his own. Just as Wawrinka feels that he has turned the tide, the Spaniard rips through his offence to retake the lead in the match.
Nadal is now one game away from taking the second set and perhaps all but guaranteeing his place in the semi-finals. Wawrinka has had chances to get back into this, but the Spaniard is now edging away from the Swiss.
There is not one part of this court that Nadal hasn't covered. He is sprinting all over the shop to produce these returns, and to great effect so far. Wawrinka is keeping a lid on his temper... for now.
GAME AND SET NADAL! The leader falls behind in this game but plays two cracking shots to turn it around. However, he gifts his opponent the game point after lifting his shot just too high but Wawrinka returns the favour to send it to deuce. Nadal shows his class to come out on top in the stalemate to take full control of the match. 2-0 in sets to Nadal.
Wawrinka hasn't given up that's for sure. He hits a terrifyingly good return to derail Nadal and force the deuce. He takes the advantage after Nadal lazily swings into the net for a break point. The Swiss hits his return long and out to restart the situation. After a bit of to-an-fro, Nadal claims the first game of the third set. Wawrinka is in trouble.
BREAK! What an unbelievable shot from Nadal! Wawrinka plays an unreal volley which would take the game to deuce and he thinks he has done it. However, the champion shows incredible athleticism, determination and skill to not only reach the ball, but guide it across the court with an outstanding backhand to win the game. Sheer brilliance from Nadal, he leads this set 2-0.
Easy as you like for Nadal as he races to a three game-point lead. Wawrinka manages to get a point back, but lets his baseline response fly out to gift him the game. The underdog looks dejected.
Surely it's only a matter of time now before Nadal wraps up this quarter-final clash? A 6-0 win in the final set wouldn't surprise me at this point.
BREAK! Nadal is cruising and closing in on the match. He smashes his way to the game without a Wawrinka response.
Wawrinka plays a cunning slice that catches out Nadal to level the game at 15-15. The two then play out a cracking next point with both turning on the speed and really attacking the ball. Wawrinka plays a drop shot but Nadal responds by slapping a volley just past the head of his opponent. Nadal then keeps his momentum rolling to move one game away from victory.
Wawrinka takes an enthralling first point of the game, with both players tight to the net it almost seems like a badminton match. Nadal gets the final touch while falling backwards, but he smiles as he watches it just fly beyond the tramlines. Wawrinka continues to mount a fightback, and takes his first game of the set.
Nadal is now serving for the match, and looks likely to set up a semi-final meeting with Novak Djokovic. A repeat of last year's final.
MATCH POINT NADAL!
GAME, SET AND MATCH NADAL! Nadal races to three match points after his volley hits the net and loops over the head of Wawrinka. His serve his smashed out of play to secure him a place in the last four, and the 'King of clay' is evidently over the moon.
So Nadal wraps up a straight-sets win in just over two hours at Roland Garros to set up what is likely to be a repeat of the 2012 final, with Novak Djokovic on the verge of victory.
What a great performance from Nadal, we'll now see him in the semi-finals.
That's it from me, I hope you have enjoyed today's action. Until next time, goodbye.