LIVE TEXT COMMENTARY (all times BST)
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I'm off to celebrate Rafa's birthday with a large slice of battenburg. Many thanks for your company today. Tomorrow, from 1300 BST, we'll see Safina v Cibulkova followed by Stosur v Kuznetsova. That's live on the Red Button
, streamed on the website
(UK only) and audible on BBC 5 Live Sports Extra.
Del Potro takes a 0-5 head-to-head record into his semi-final against Federer on Friday, but providing he can maintain his form and hold his nerve, he has a good chance of posting his first win.
Del Boy is flinging sweatbands into the crowd as he celebrates reaching his first ever Grand Slam semi-final. He only really faltered in that last game, but eventually saw it out with a lovely forehand cross-court.
1826: JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO BEATS TOMMY ROBREDO 6-3 6-4 6-2 1823:
Nerves here... Del Boy has seen four match points come and go.
Anyone still out there? If you are, Juan Martin del Potro has the double break and is about to serve for the match at 5-2.
Here's Serena's thoughts on the men's draw: "I like Del Potro's game, because he's young and he's tall and he's really nice to me. And Roger is really nice to me, too. Obviously I love Roger. But, yeah, him, and I like Gonzalez. Well, Gonzalez is hitting too many drop shots, so he kind of got me a little frustrated. So yeah. I don't know. Maybe... I like Del Potro. I don't know if he's the favourite, but I'd just like to see him do well."
JM del P peppers the Robredo backhand and is rewarded with the error - and the break. The Argentine leads 3-2 in the third.
As I said, at least Serena is consistent. Here's her reaction to losing the Wimbledon final to her own sister: "I think I just lost rhythm and then I just made a lot of errors. I just couldn't get the balls in. Nothing I was doing was seeming to work..."
From anon via text on 81111:
"Re 1730: Has anyone ever beaten Serena? She says the same thing every loss. Maybe, just maybe, she has equals? Oh, and keep it up Juan Martin."
I know what you're thinking. It's about time we heard Sam Stosur's
reaction after she reached her first Grand Slam semi-final earlier today. Think no more... "Just over the moon, happy, excited. Every single positive emotion I think possible at the moment. So, yeah, don't really know what to say, to be honest."
If rugger is your thing, Benjamin Dirs has just kicked off the live text on the Lions v the Golden Lions. Bet that'll be a right old cat-fight. Sorry.
Live text - Golden Lions v Lions
From Dave, Warrington, via text on 81111:
"Very nice action with the automatic updates, they almost glide onto my screen. Smoother than Nigel Havers."
It's like some sort of Rolf Harris snowball. The fella who sent the Rolf email (see 1724 and 1630) has just texted in with the following: "A Rolferoo would be good but he's a serious artist too, he did a portrait of the Queen after all! We're unveiling his Wimbledon Champion painting on 16 June then it's up to the public to vote for their favourite of all time!"
All very comfortable this. Juan Martin del Potro serves out the second set 6-4
and he's a set away from his first Grand Slam semi-final - and another meeting with Rog.
From BEAR in London, via text on 81111:
"Federer's win against Monfils takes Fed to his 20th consecutive Grand Slam semi final. Surely a record? His previous 'worst' result was a third round loss to Kuerten at Roland Garros five years ago!"It is indeed a record, which he broke with his 19th in a row in Melbourne
Yikes. Tommy Robredo has just hit a smash off his frame and into the crowd. He is serving at 5-3 down in the second set against Del P.
Oh well, you've got to give Serena full marks for consistency.
You know I was wondering how Serena would take her defeat by Svetlana Kuznetsova (see 1659)? Here's the answer... "I think I lost because of me and not because of anything she did. In the third (set) I had an opportunity but I was a bit tight. I basically handed it to her. It was like: 'Here, do you want it? 'Cos I don't.' And she was like: 'OK.'"
JM del P is now a set and a break to the good against Tommy R. And cruising.
Ah. Apparently, I have misunderstood the Rolf Harris email (see 1630). He's going to be doing a painting based on some experts' views on the greatest Wimbledon champs. I find myself slightly disappointed. I wonder if he'll sneak a Rolferoo into his painting? (Sorry young people, that's going to go right over your heads).
Apparently, there were seven deuces in the second game between Del Potro and Robredo. Cripes. The Argentine came back from 0-40 down to hold and it's now 2-2
in the second set.
Anon via text on 81111:
"Isn't Roger gorgeous? Just gorgeous. Sigh."
Roger Federer is through to his 20th Grand Slam semi-final in a row. Yes, you read that right. He celebrates by raising both arms to the sky. Bit of a disappointment that match, Gael Monfils seemed to run out of inspiration after dropping a close first set.
1713: Roger Federer beats Gael Monfils 7-6 6-2 6-4 1711:
Not sure if my scoreboard is stuck but Juan Martin del Potro and Tommy Robredo appear to have been playing the same game for hours. Del Potro serving at 0-1 in the second set after taking the first set 6-3. Federer has three match points...
Oh dear. Monfils saves one break point with a brave visit to the net but on the second, he thwacks the tape with an attempted winner down the line - and Federer will serve for a place in the semi-finals at 5-4.
From nigeweir on 606:
"Good service game from Monfils, boy does he hit the ball hard. Not going down without a whimper, I will give him that, but going down anyway."
Join the debate on 606
I'm intrigued to hear Serena's response to her defeat earlier. She's not usually one for giving credit to her opponent, but she likes Svetlana Kuznetsova so maybe she might be a bit more generous than usual... Gael Monfils still digging in while not making any impact on the Fed serve and he leads 4-3
in the third.
The trainer is back on for Monfils, but it's only a flying visit, and the Frenchman is quickly back out to receive serve - losing four straight points as Fed levels up at 2-2
in the third. Juan Martin del Potro takes the first set 6-3 against Tommy Robredo.
From anon via text on 81111:
"Roger is playing OK, but against Gonzalez - assuming they both get to the final - he will need more than 50% first serve to win."
The French crowd raise an encouraging round of applause as Monfils faces a break point - and it does the trick as Fed completely mis-hits a backhand. The Frenchman gives it a massive "allez" as he holds serve, but is met with more polite applause. I don't think this crowd are convinced he can win this.
Fed only managed a 50% first serve percentage in that second set - and still won it 6-2. Monfils holds in the first game and he doesn't look like he has thrown in the towel yet. Still on serve over on Suzanne Lenglen, Del Potro leading 3-2.
This is not very encouraging if you are hoping for a Monfils comeback. He's just had the trainer out on court.
From gazzaefc on 606:
"I honestly believe that the winner of Soderling-Gonzalez will win the championship. Why? The power of the men."
Join the debate on 606
1635: Roger Federer wraps up the second set 6-2
and Gael Monfils appears to have lost his mojo after narrowly losing the opening set. He's got one hell of a mountain to climb now.
Sorry, temporarily distracted by an email which appears to be inviting me to hear Rolf Harris's views on the greatest Wimbledon champion in history. Fed serving for the second set at 5-2
. Del Potro leads Robredo 2-1
Hello, what's this? Federer skies a backhand miles over the baseline and it's break point Monfils. The big forehand does the damage though, forcing Monfils to go short and allowing Fed to put the ball behind the Frenchman. Fed 5-1
up and Monfils is now 0 for four on break points, as they say in American.
Bit of trouble for Fed at 30-30 but he bangs down an ace and quickly wraps up the game. Not great body language from Gael at the moment, a lot of head hanging. Now 4-0
... and you'll need to give this page a little manual refresh just so I'm not masquerading as Piers. As I return to my seat, Gael Monfils utters a very French swear word. It wasn't zut alors either. The Frenchman is now two breaks down at 0-3 in the second set against Roger Federer.
Well, it all got a bit hectic there for a minute, but Kuznetsova did a great job of holding her nerve at the end of the third. I, for one, did not see that coming. And Federer has broken serve at the start of the second set. It's all too much for me, and everyone's favourite text commentator has returned with biscuits and tea, so back to Cheese...
Federer saves a set point at 5-6 with a smash and gets to set point himself at 7-5... he moves into the net and punches away a volley. Federer takes the first set.
Federer and Monfils are 5-5 in the first set tie-break and you can follow it on the Red Button and website streaming (UK only)
1600: SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA BEATS SERENA WILLIAMS 7-6 (7-3) 5-7 7-5 1559:
After Kuznetsova holds she earns two more match points on the Serena serve..
Gutsy stuff from Serena, who saves two match points from 15-40 as Kuznetsova is forced into errors, and the American powers down two aces to seal the game. It's 5-5 in the final set. And Monfils levels to force a tie-break against Federer.
Federer holds for 6-5 against Monfils after a tricky game.
Federer saves a break point at 5-5 when Monfils goes long. If radio coverage is your bag, click the 5 Live Sports Extra
link above and follow Federer v Monfils now.
Kuznetsova holds her nerve, and her serve, to move 5-4 up in the decider and Serena must now hold to stay in the match. Federer and Monfils are still on serve at 5-5.
"Piers you never published my prediction that Soderling, Gonzalez, Monfils and Federer would make the semis!"From Jacques_Humbert on 606
(We had too many to choose just one
Kuznetsova makes a wild error when 15-30 up and Serena comes through for 4-4 in the final set. Federer leads Monfils 5-4 on serve, and we will be heading over there on the Red Button and website streaming (UK only)
at the end of Serena v Kuznetsvoa.
Serena gets a break point but Kuznetsova saves it with a heavy forehand and holds for 4-3 in the decider. Federer moves 4-3 up on serve against Monfils.
"Serena seems to have lost the plot a little bit," says John Lloyd on the Red Button
after the American lets a 40-0 lead slip. Kuznetsova earns a break point and Serena plays a woeful attempt at a drop shot - it's 3-3 in the decider. Federer and Monfils are 3-3.
"Piers you never published my correct prediction of gonzo in 4! Defo gotta put up fed express to win in 5 today, gonna be a cracker! Is there an illness i can fake for the afternoon to get out of work?"From Chris in bournemouth, not working again, via text on 81111
It's looking pretty good for Serena right now as she powers into a 3-1 lead, while Federer goes 2-1 up on serve against Monfils.
Bad news for Britain's Lucy Shuker, who goes down 6-0 6-0 to world number two Korie Homan of the Netherlands in their women's singles wheelchair match on Court Nine. That's the second British woman's number one to get double-bagelled this fortnight. You wait until Wimbledon....
Monfils has his own struggle in his opening service game but levels at 1-1 against Federer, while Serena leads Kuznetsova 2-1 with a break in the final set.
A brief Andy Murray
interlude, and good old Fernando Gonzalez
has some nice words after yesterday's forehand demolition job. "Andy is number three in the world, and he's only 22," said the Chilean. "He's a really good player and he's going to dominate the tour in the next few years. I mean he's dominating now - he won a couple of Masters Series events and he made the final at the US Open last year. The only thing he needs is time and to work a little bit. Just that."
Federer saves two break points in the opening game against Monfils, but Kuznetsova cannot follow suit as Serena blasts a backhand down the line to break at the start of the decider. We'll be heading to Chatrier for Fed v La Monf on the Red Button and website streaming (UK only)
at the end of Serena v Kuz.
Federer and Monfils are out on Chatrier, the Swiss to serve first....
"Federer to beat Monfils 6-0, 6-0, 6-0!!! Piers, please publish this!!"From SYJYTG on 606
It's edgy stuff out there on Lenglen now and Serena bunts a backhand well long on her first set point, but makes no mistake with the second as she smacks an ace out wide. One set all.
The tension has become too much for Cheese, and it appears the same goes for Kuznetsova who drops serve when she nets a backhand. Serena leads 6-5 and we could be on for a decider. And I'm told you need to manually refresh your page. So go on then...
Serena double-faults at 40-15 but regains her composure to close it out on the next point and it's 5-5 in the second set. Over to Piers...
Samantha Stosur's quickfire win over on Phillipe Chatrier means Roger Federer and Gael Monfils will be on court shortly in their quarter-final. Fed has won all four of their previous meetings, but Monfils took the Swiss to four sets in their semi-final in Paris last year.
If you want evidence of how nervous Kuznetsova was during that game, I give you a serve which bounced near the baseline. She gifts Williams the break back and the Russian leads 5-4.
Kuzy comes right back and breaks again, hooking a backhand return down the line and just inside the baseline, as Serena stands and watches. The Russian will serve for the match...
completes a 6-1 6-3 win over Romanian Sorana Cirstea and becomes the first Aussie semi-finalist in Paris since Pat Rafter in 1997. She'll play Kuznetsova or Williams.
Mmmm. That tumble seems to have knocked Kuznetsova off her stride. She gives Serena the break back and Kuzy now leads 4-3 in the second.
Svetlana Kuznetsova takes a tumble on the baseline, turning her ankle. She's now covered in the red stuff, but seems OK. Now deuce on her serve at 4-2. Sam Stosur is one game away from the semi-finals.
John Lloyd on BBC Red Button as Kuznetsova takes 4-1 lead:
"Kuznetsova has played beautifully since the French Open began, but Serena's mental strength is a gigantic weapon and I thought that side of it would play a big part in this match. But it's not over yet..."
I fear this may be scraping the 'Brit up graphic' barrel a touch, but never mind... Heather Watson
and her Hungarian partner Timea Babos are through to the quarter-finals of the girls' doubles. We've got another plucky Brit in action later as Lucy Shuker
takes on second seed Korie Homan in the women's wheelchair event.
That's not going to help Serena's mood one little bit. Kuznetsova gets a very lucky netcord to seal the game and a 3-0 lead. Big apology from Kuzy, and she probably meant it because these two are quite good friends by all accounts.
Frightening scream from Serena as she has her serve broken for the third time in this match. Kuzy leads 2-0 in the second, and has just played a quite brilliant lob from a ball which landed on the baseline.
Sam Smith on BBC Red Button:
"It's a little quiet out here on Suzanne Lenglen. I think they're just processing what's happening in front of their eyes."
That is a near-perfect tie-break by Svetlana Kuznetsova
. She races into a 6-1 lead, and though Serena pegs her back to 6-3, Kuzy produces a wrong-footing forehand to seal it. Excellent stuff. Sam Stosur now a set and a break to the good against Sorana Cirstea.
Miserable second serve from Kuzy is rightly punished by a rampant Serena, prompting a minor piece of racquet abuse. But the Russian bounces back to save a set point and we're into a tie-break.
From Joe in Leamington Spa, via text on 81111:
"I've just put a few quid on Monfils to win the tournament at 14-1. If he gets through today he must have a great chance. That's a monumental if, admittedly."
Big serve, big forehand... it's what John Lloyd would call the "one-two punch" from Serena and it means she is now ahead for the first time in the set at 6-5. Ominous. Have I been watching too much tennis when I can quote John Lloyd catchphrases?
Kuzy can't serve it out, but the credit is all Serena's, the American walloping a forehand behind her opponent to complete the break. It's 5-5.
I've seen a lot of mental fortitude from Svetlana Kuznetsova so far, but this is the big test now: she serves for the set at 5-4.
Could Sam Stosur be any more Australian? She likes "going to the beach, hanging out with friends, surfing and listening to music" - and one of her favourite bands is INXS. She's also very good at sport and has bagged the first set 6-1 against Sorana Cirstea. It's a right old battle on Suzanne Lenglen though, Serena still down a break at 3-4 but looking threatening.
From Cogen on 606:
"Re 1324: I think it's irrelevant. Soderling is playing better than I have ever seen him before. Gonzalez is in stunning form. Monfils is also playing some good tennis this week and has massive home support. Any one of those factors could turn the table on a bad head to head. Federer might have a slight mental advantage going into the matches but that's about it."
Join the debate on 606
Slammin' Sam, they call her on her official website. Surely there's a better nickname than that? Anyway, Stosur is the first Aussie women to reach the French Open quarter-finals in 21 years, which is almost as bad a record as Britain's. But not quite. Stosur leads 4-1, Kuzy leads 4-2 but she's just come through a very tricky service game.
The real Serena appears to have turned up and she's recovered one of the breaks to trail 3-2. Sam Stosur, though, still running away with it at 4-1.
has just trotted out my dazzling stat before I had a chance. For the rest of you, here it is: Roger Federer has lost once in 39 matches against the other players remaining in the men's draw. Here's the head-to-heads: v Monfils (4-0), v Gonzalez (12-1), v Soderling (9-0), v Del Potro (5-0), v Robredo (8-0).
From Ian in Leicester, via text on 81111:
"If we are making predictions with 70s pop songs, may I suggest Fernando?"You may.
"Aussie Aussie Aussie..." etc etc. Sam Stosur is 3-0 up on Sorana Cirstea. Meanwhile, Serena continues to play like a drain and is now 3-0 down. Svetlana Kuznetsova has just played a sensational running backhand pass down the line.
Slow start from Serena and she's been broken already after three straight errors. Nervous? Surely not.
Stay tuned, I've actually done some research this morning, and I have a dazzling stat for you coming up. In the meantime, Serena will serve first against Kuznetsova.
From ham on 606:
"C'mon Sam Stosur. Been a while since us Aussies had a woman do this well. Well, same for the men really."
Join the debate on 606
Of course, I'll also be keeping an eye on Sam Stosur and Sorana Cirstea on Philippe Chatrier. Any of you predict that quarter-final? Thought not...
So, we'll be having a little look at Serena Williams and Svetlana Kuznetsova first, the only two Grand Slam winners left in the women's draw. They have played six times, and you'll get no prizes for guessing that Serena bosses the head-to-head 5-1. However, their last meeting at the Australian Open quarter-finals this year was close, Serena winning 5-7 7-5 6-1.
Should you be near a Red Button
, press it and be dazzled by coverage of Serena Williams v Svetlana Kuznetsova and then Roger Federer v Gael Monfils. Manually refresh this page (UK only) and you'll see live streaming
of all that too. Failing that, hit the button marked BBC 5 Live Sports Extra
for commentary of those matches.
Hello you. Time to wipe away the tears, Andy Murray may be London-bound to dust off his grass-court shoes, but there's still a trophy to be won here. Rockin' Robin all the way right?