Nadal and Soderling on course for Paris rematch

Paris: In a French Open of upsets, only Rafael Nadal`s progress has been predictable and he is now strong favourite to add to his four titles after storming into Friday`s semi-final against Jurgen Melzer without losing a set.

The other semi is between Robin Soderling, Roger Federer`s conqueror and the only man to beat Nadal at Roland Garros, and Tomas Berdych who knocked out fourth seed Andy Murray.

Melzer, the first Austrian man since Thomas Muster in 1995 to reach the semi-final of a grand slam, produced an inspired comeback to beat Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals.

Until this week, Melzer had never made it beyond the third round of a grand slam. He has met Nadal twice, the Spaniard winning both, and a Melzer victory would top any of the shocks seen here so far.

"I`m in the semi-finals against Melzer and it will be a very difficult match. I`m focused on that match right now," said Nadal who looks set to get the perfect chance to avenge last year`s fourth-round defeat by Soderling in Sunday`s final should they both play to form in the semis.

Bureau Report

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