Paris, Nov 7 (IANS) Rafael Nadal was sent packing 7-6 (8), 7-6 (7) by this year’s French Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka while No.1 Novak Djokovic stayed on course for his third straight Paris Masters title after beating Tomas Berdych. Spaniard Nadal, seeded the seventh at the 3,288,530-euro ($3.5 million) indoors tennis tournament, lost to the Swiss the last time the two men met in Paris in the French Open final in June, reports Xinhua. 1 Djokovic earlier extended his winning streak to 20 and awaited Wawrinka in Saturday’s semifinals after beating Czech fifth seed Berdych 7-6 (3), 7-6 (8) late on Friday. The 28-year-old Serb produced a big first serve and a forehand winner off the blocked return to pull the first set into a tie-break, which was dominated by Djokovic, winning four of the first five points to take control. Both men held firm to bring up a second straight tie-break, which Djokovic edged 10-8 despite Berdych having another set point. “I definitely didn’t want to go into the third set. Credit to Berdych for playing on a high level, pushing me in the back of the court with hi depth on the shots,” commented Djokovic.
“The match could have gone a different way,” he added. Andy Murray and David Ferrer also made it through to the semi-finals in the bottom half of the draw, as the second-seeded Scot took two hours and 38 minutes to beat 10th seed Richard Gasquet of France and the 2012 champion Ferrer defeated 13th-seeded American John Isner also in full sets. Murray made a marathon effort to see off the last remaining Frenchman 7-6 (7), 3-6, 6-3 to make the last four of the indoors tournament for the first time. The 28-year-old had previously fallen in the quarter-finals of the ATP’s regular season finale for five times. The win meant that he joined Roger Federer, Nadal and Djokovic as the only players to reach the semi-finals or better at all nine of the Masters 1000 Series during their career. Ferrer beat big-serving Isner 6-3, 6-7 (6), 6-1. The latter ousted 17-time Grand Slam champion Federer in the previous round.