Melzer is no pushover says Nadal

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Rafael Nadal could be forgiven for already having one eye firmly fixed on a potential revenge match against Robin Soderling in Sunday's French Open final.

Updated: June 03, 2010 07:31 IST
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"nadal.jpg"Rafael Nadal could be forgiven for already having one eye firmly fixed on a potential revenge match against Robin Soderling in Sunday's French Open final.

The Swede stunned the Spaniard and the tennis world last year when he became the first, and so far the only man, to defeat Nadal at Roland Garros since the claycourt king first blasted onto the Paris scene in 2005.

Soderling will start favourite in his semi-final this year against Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, while on the face of it, Nadal should have little trouble seeing of the challenge of Austrian surprise Jurgen Melzer.

But true to form, Nadal is taking nothing for granted.

"I never think about revenges," Nadal said after his straight sets quarter-final win over compatriot Nicolas Almagro.

"I am in semifinals against Melzer. Will be very difficult match. So I am focused on that match right now.

"When I go on court, I don't think if I lost last time is gonna be revenge. I never go by this way. I think if you think that, your mind is not 100 percent calm to think what you have to do."

Still, the odds against a win for the 22nd seed Melzer, who at 29 will be playing in his first Grand Slam semi-final, look astronomical.

Nadal has yet to drop a set, while Melzer will need all of the two days off before Friday's last four games to recuperate from his efforts in coming from two sets down to defeat third seed Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals.

The Austrian, who is looking to emulate compatriot Thomas Muster, winner of the French Open in 1995, was reluctant immediately after his win over Djokovic to countenance what it would take to defeat Nadal, whom he has played twice and managed to win only eight games in total.

"I don't want to think about Nadal," a tired-looking Melzer said.

"I have still tomorrow to think about Nadal. I just played the biggest match of my life just maybe an hour ago.

"Of course you want to have a straight mindset when you think about Nadal. At the moment, that wouldn't be possible."

Friday's other semi-final sees a matchup between two of the tallest players on the tour who both base their games around big serves and thumping forehands.

Soderling leads their head-to-heads 4-3, but it was Berdych who won their last encounter 6-2, 6-2 on the Miami hardcourts earlier this year.

Still, the Swede will start a strong favourite on the evidence of his defeat of Nadal last year and his commanding four sets victory over top seed and defending champion Roger Federer in the quarter-finals.

The Swede says that the Miami result will have no relevance for Friday.

"The match before that I beat him 1 and 1," he said, although the actual result in Kuala Lumpur last year was 6-2, 6-2 in favour of Soderling.

"I know every match is a new match, and he played great this year. He's a dangerous player when he's playing good.

"So of course it can happen, but I'm expecting a tough match"

Soderling is seeking to be the first Swede to win a Grand Slam title since Stefan Edberg at the 1992 US Open, while Berdych hopes to be the first from his country to take a Grand Slam title since Petr Korda took the 1998 Australian Open.

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