On Wednesday we also learned that for Serena Williams when the going gets tough, she gets going. The world No.1 was close to her best form as she marched into the last four. "The tougher it gets the harder I have to play," she said after beating Sara Errani. Whenever the American has been in the last eight of a major she's gone on to lift the silverware. Timea Bacsinszky stands in her way of reaching the Paris final for a third time.
On Wednesday we learned that we will crown a new men's
champion at Roland-Garros in 2015. The nine-time defending champion Rafael Nadal bowed
out to the unstoppable force that is Novak Djokovic. The four men in the
semi-finals - Djokovic, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - have
never won the French Open before. Destiny awaits for one.
"It's going to be an extremely tough match but I hope it's a good one. I hope
I can play a high quality of tennis as I need to do that to have a
chance of beating him. I'll need as much support as I can get in that
"He has improved on clay no doubt about it. I watched him a little bit in
Madrid and Rome as well when he retired his match. Here he's been
playing some really good tennis. He's moving better and serving very
well. He always had one of the best groundstrokes in the game. He's also
a great fighter. I'm sure that he's very motivated to get at least one
set further. I'm sure both of us will get on the court with the
intention of winning. I know his game"
Our second men's semi final is set! Murray v Djokovic...another great rivalry match awaits! #RG15 http://t.co/jcYhb9PWPl
"I knew it was going to be an extremely tough match where the first set was extremely important. I managed to hang on in the tie-break. He fought extemely hard at the end of the third and made it difficult. I was frustrated at the end of the third set as I had match-point and it;s difficult to play a full set more when you've just had match point."
Game, set, match for @andy_murray 7-6(4) 6-2 5-7 6-1 over #Ferrer. He's through to his 3rd RG semifinal #RG15 http://t.co/FhKAB62x4r
Murray last man into semi-finals
Into the semi-finals of the French Open for the second straight year goes Andy Murray. The clay-court loving third seed turns around to his box and pumps his fists. Murray served it out to love to seal a 7-6 6-2 5-7 6-1 victory after three hours and 16 minutes. A good confidence builder for Murray to earn his first victory over Ferrer on clay.
Andy's arrived! 5-0 lead in the fourth. He's one game away from a meeting with Djokovic in the semi's #RG15 http://t.co/kUJOBDmDha
Murray one game away from the match
Important news at Blog HQ. Andy Murray is a double break up on Court Suzanne-Lenglen. The third seed has upped his level and is just one game away from a place in the semi-finals. Remember Murray is 14-0 on clay this season.
Off to a fourth we go! #Ferrer smashes a forehand down the line to take the 3rd 7-5 against Murray. #RG15 http://t.co/GSQY77bbVK
Murray *7-6 6-2 5-7 0-0 Ferrer
And that's the set for David Ferrer, who serves out to love. We are going into a fourth set on Lenglen. Perhaps we shouldn't be surprise as all of their previous three Grand Slam meetings have gone to four sets. We may need to raid Novak Djokovic's dried fruit lunchbox to see us through.
The clay of Suzanne-Lenglen is a rosey-red in the evening sunshine. David Ferrer remains fired up and feisty. Andy Murray is hanging tough. A solid service game from the third seed takes him to within one game of the victory but the Spaniard will serve next.
Il y en a du monde sur ce Lenglen pour soutenir Ferrer et Murray ! #RG15 http://t.co/ypls0AwByQ
Rafael Nadal has been speaking to the media...
"I will come back next year and will try to be better
prepared than this year. Try to arrive with a little more confidence. I have
been very successful here for nine years. I lost twice. I lost not many times here and that day arrived today again. I always accepted the defeats and there is only one sure thing, I want to
work harder than before to come back stronger"
On her #RoadtoRG, @luciesafarova shares what she might like to do after she retires from tennis. #RG15 WATCH:https://t.co/XPZFz5Cxde
Murray *7-6 6-2 3-3 Ferrer
There is also trouble brewing for Andy Murray on Lenglen as David Ferrer - who got himself into a bit of a lather - forces three break points. The Briton saves one but cannot do more when he drifts a drop-shot short. We're on serve in the third.
Rafael Nadal was not the only favourite to fall on Wednesday. The top seeds in the women's doubles - Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza - were knocked out by singles semi-finalist Lucie Safarova and her American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands 7-5 6-2 in the quarter-finals. For all the results at #RG15 this page has all you need to know.
3-0 pour Andy Murray qui semble bien parti pour décrocher son billet pour les demies. David Ferrer a bien du mal à revenir. #RG15
Murray 7-6 6-2 3-0* Ferrer
The man racing to meet Novak Djokovic in Friday's semi-final is Andy Murray. The British No.3 is 3-0 up in the the third set, breaking David Ferrer because of more forehand errors off the Spaniard's racquet.
#Nadal records just his 2nd career loss at Roland Garros (70-2 win-loss record) in 11 appearances. #RG15 http://t.co/oghVZjweIp
"I have lots of respect for Rafa," Novak Djokovic says during his on-court interview, adding Nadal is always a champion. "I had the tactics, I stayed concentrated on all the points." He adds that it's incredible and he hopes to continue his good form. Remember this is Blog HQ's translation as Djokovic is speaking in French! Djokovic stops to pose for fans' photos and autographs as he leaves Chatrier.
.@DjokerNole reaches #RG15 SFs with 75 63 61 win over 9-time champ #Nadal. More: http://t.co/LaX1SC3uUx #ATP #tennis http://t.co/s9zoceVjTy
Djokovic beats Nadal to reach last four
An irrepressible, irresistable Novak Djokovic has triple match point against the defending champion Rafa Nadal. The Spanish nine-time winner serves a double fault and that's the match for Djokovic and a place in the semi-finals. Nadal leaves Court Chatrier to warm applause. It's been a tough birthday for the popular man from Mallorca.
#Murray much more comfortable in the 2nd. Now leads #Ferrer 7-6(4) 6-2. Can the Brit claim his first win on clay over the Spaniard? #RG15
Murray *7-6 6-2 0-0 Ferrer
Over on Lenglen, Andy Murray swings for the ball on set point. His forehand is good and that's a two-set lead against David Ferrer. The Spaniard, by the way, came through five sets against Simone Bollelli in the third round. We're not counting him out yet.
Things looking dismal for #Nadal. He trails 0-3 in the 3rd set. #RG15 #Rafole44 http://t.co/zUNAhk5hJV
Djokovic 7-5 6-3 3-0* Nadal
It's a second break for Novak Djokovic in the third set. It's not the way he might like to make the break, as the ball bounces off the net and drops over. Rafael Nadal had fought back from 0-40 down but ran out of luck. The defending champion eats another piece of banana and slugs some water. It's a long way back. Can the nine-time champion find an answer to Djokovic's power and confidence?
Et le break prend les couleurs de l'Ecosse dans ce 2e set. D. Ferrer va devoir faire très attention... #RG15
Murray *7-6 3-1 Ferrer
There's some gritty play on Suzanne-Lenglen too as Andy Murray comes back from 0-40 down against David Ferrer to hold and then breaks the Spaniard in his next service game. The Briton's coach Amelie Mauresmo nods her approval from the box.
Gros jeu de Murray qui sauve 3 balles de break et remporte son engagement. #RG15 http://t.co/JNX2MNsw96
Djokovic *7-5 6-3 1-0 Nadal
Novak Djokovic has fire in his eyes now while Rafael Nadal is staring right into trouble. The world No.1 sends Nadal the wrong way and strikes a forehand winner to bring up the break point and the defending champion makes the wrong choice at the net and sends the volley wide. Is that the decisive moment?
Novak Djokovic brings up set-point with a half volley at the net. He's so pleased with the get that he pumps his fist. Rafael Nadal stands on the other side of the net, staring down a two-sets-to-love deficit, but he can't stave off his fate as he trundles the ball into the net.
We did warn you that Novak Djokovic was testing Rafael Nadal's defences and when the defending champion pushes a forehand long with too much power that's the break for the world No.1. He's now serving for the set.
David Ferrer misses a smash at the net, then he shoots a forehand long, Andy Murray nets and then nets again but... it's the British third seed who takes the tie-break 7-4 with a backhand volley. Into a second set we go...
Sometimes we can't look at Blog HQ and now is one of those times. We are locked on serve on Chatrier but Novak Djokovic is pushing, closing... Meanwhile on Suzanne-Lenglen, the tie-break has just finished...
We are going into a tie-break on Lenglen. Andy Murray saves two set-points against David Ferrer and seals the hold with a fierce forehand. All three of their previous Grand Slam meetings the matches have featured tie-breaks, by the way.
Stats fans might like to know that this is the first time that David Ferrer has led in the opening set of this quarter-final even though the Spanish seventh seed served first. Will it be ominous for the British third seed?
There's a strange rhythm to the match on Suzanne-Lenglen. Andy Murray can't win a single point as he serves for the first set against David Ferrer, and dumps the ball into the net to hand back the break. There have already been six breaks of serve in this quarter-final so far.
Will Rafa Nadal get the birthday present he wants today? As
he celebrates his 29th birthday, it's pretty clear what must be top of his
wish-list. A 10th French Open title - the illustrious 'La Decima'. Across the
net, Novak Djokovic continues to loom like the little brother at the birthday party, poised
to blow out the candles on the birthday cake.
The players on Lenglen have been swapping breaks again. David Ferrer carved out a break on Andy Murray's serve but then succumbs to a series of errors to hand it straight back. Murray, the third seed here, is back in front.
A fourth set point appears for Novak Djokovic when Rafael Nadal plunges long twice. The Spaniard snuffs it out with a smash. Djokovic fizzes across a sliced winner for set-point No.5 but then there's the net in the way again.... A sixth match point is taken at last when Rafael Nadal cannot stretch for Djokovic's cross-court forehand. He loses a 4-0 lead but the top seed wins the set 7-5. Phew! That's 67 minutes of tennis on the clock.
Andy Murray and David Ferrer are playing out their quarter-final under slightly less limelight on Suzanne-Lenglen but the reward is the same. Both players are vying to reach the semi-final at Roland-Garros for the third time. Murray is back ahead when Ferrer double faults on break point.
The first set point tantalises Novak Djokovic at 30-40 as he rasps over a volley but a big serve forces Djokovic into a backhand error. The top seed conjures another set point with a lob but he can't get to a Rafael Nadal drop-shot. A third set point looms with a punishing forehand from Djokovic but the Serbian nets again. On we go....
While you can't go anywhere, we have to... because over on Suzanne Lenglen David Ferrer is having his own problems with the net. The Spanish seventh seed dumps his backhand into the net to gift Andy Murray an early break.
You didn't count him out did you? Rafael Nadal is finding his range now. A fourth break point arrives for the defending champion when Djokovic nets a simple forehand and the top seed hands back a break when he bundles the ball into the tape. We are back on serve. Do not go anywhere.
The crowd on Suzanne-Lenglen are settling down for more tennis courtesy of Andy Murray - protecting an unbeaten 14-0 record on clay in 2015 - and Spaniard David Ferrer, who has beaten the Briton in all four previous meetings on the red stuff. It's just gone 4pm in the afternoon here, the sun is shining, it's warm - what more could we want?
There are a few more points on the board for Rafael Nadal now. He thrusts a winner down the line to bring up a first break point - a shot that brings a thumbs-up of respect from Djokovic - and grabs one break back when Djokovic pushes his forehand long.
Back on Chatrier, Rafa is reeling. A simply sensational rally involving lobs, retrievals, back-and-forth around the court ends with Nadal missing a drop-shot at the net and Djokovic taking a double break. There are urgent shouts of "Allez Rafa" from the stands.
Timea Bacsinszky raises her arms to the air and turns in joyful disbelief to her box. The Swiss has reached her first Grand Slam semi-final, wrapping up a 6-4 7-5 victory over Alison Van Uytvanck. The Belgian's reward for her hard work at #RG15 will be a projected place in the world's top-50.
Back and forth we go, over to Suzanne-Lenglen where a 24th backhand winner is timely for Timea Bacsinszky as she break back against Alison Van Uytvanck. The Swiss is now serving for a place in the semi-finals.
Don't forget to get in touch to predict your winner of this sensational match-up. I'm Sarah Holt and you can tweet me @sholtscribbles or @rolandgarros. @vishyblue has tweeted to say: "The curse (or) blessing of the 11th RG will be enough for Nole to win against Rafa. I think it is destiny today."
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal may sense a whiff of deja vu
at Roland-Garros today. The first time these stars ever met was here in the
quarter-finals. The year was 2006 and Rafael Nadal was already a French Open
winner, capturing his first crown on the Paris clay the previous Spring. The
Spaniard won that first match up when Djokovic, then just a promising
19-year-old, retired with a back injury.
Meanwhile, Alison Van Uytvanck converted her fourth break point in the sixth game of the second set to nudge into the lead. The Belgian is 4-3 up - remember she needs this set to level against Timea Bacsinszky.
We are sensing a hushed silence at Roland-Garros... Then dressed in an azure blue to almost match the skies, Rafael Nadal appears just behind Novak Djokovic, decked out in orange and black, and here come the cheers.
Nole and Rafa - as we've familiarly come to know them - have
played each other 43 times in the last decade. It's the Spaniard who leads the
head-to-head 23-20. Today they come to
Roland-Garros protecting awesome records. Djokovic is unbeaten in 26 straight
matches while Rafa has only lost once in 70 matches at Roland-Garros.
Let's wrap up the scoreline. Serena Williams pirouettes at the net as she defeats Sara Errani 6-1 6-3. In between coughs in her on-court interview, she says she loves the crowd here and that she's very happy.
The first match point looms for Serena Williams in Sara Errani's service game but, with planted feet, the top seed nets. A second match point meets the same fate when Williams clips the tape with her backhand. A third match point is smashed the wrong side of the net. A fourth point hangs between them - this time Errani nets and the top seed is into the semi-finals.
Hi Leigh. Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams hoping to change that stat this week by adding the French Open title to their Melbourne gongs! Serena by the way is just one game away from a place in the #RG15 semi-finals.
Serena Williams screams as she holds serve midway through the second set on Chatrier. The American then takes a deep breath, closes her eyes. She may be just as eager as anyone to watch Novak v Rafa - up next! - but she's also sniffing her first semi-final at Roland-Garros since 2013. When Sara Errani pushes her backhand long on break point, the American moves one step closer.
There's a little yelp and a jump from Timea Bacsinszky as she wins the first set against Alison Van Uytvanck. The Swiss world No. 24 won 75% of points on her first serve, hit 17 winners and made just 11 unforced errors. But a respectable fightback from Van Uytvanck - what can she do in the second?
There's plenty of support for Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck over on Lenglen. The Belgian is clawing back a foothold on the clay against Timea Bacsinszky but it will be the Swiss who now serves for the opening set.
The world No.1 needs just four more minutes on the clay to wrap up the first set. Serena Williams serves it out with an ace and there is applause from coach Patrick Mouratoglou in the box. Sara Errani has never won a second set against the American - but now's a good time.
Sara Errani gets the break back in her quarter-final against Serena Williams. The Italian seals it with a backhand winner. Meanwhile, Timea Bacsinszky has the double break against Alison Van Uytvanck, who hasn't won a single point on her first serve at the moment.
The sun is really scorching the terre battue at Roland-Garros. It was hot, humid and a little overcast court-side this morning with a brisk breeze too. But the sun is out now and the breeze is dropping. It's a lovely day to play on the clay.
Justin Henin was the last Belgian to reach the Roland-Garros quarter-finals in 2007, when she went on to win her final title on the Parisian clay. Blog HQ grabbed a word with Justine this morning as she's poised to watch how compatriot Alison van Uytvanck goes on. I asked Henin, a four-time winner, here if she'd spoken to van Uytvanck before the match. She said she hadn't given her any advice but would be watching her closely from the commentary box.
The players are warming up on Suzanne-Lenglen too. Timea Bacsinszky and Alison Van Uytvanck are surprise quarter-finalists. Both have already achieved their best Grand Slam results by reaching the last eight at #RG15.
Sara Errani is ready to go. The Italian is doing some stretches as she waits to be announced on Chatrier. Errani reached the final here in 2012, when she eventually lost to Maria Sharapova. Williams takes off her headphones before making her way onto the sun-blushed clay. Errani is aiming to turn around an 0-8 record against the world No.1.
There's a big statistic hanging over Serena Williams as she faces Italian Sara Errani on Chatrier in a few minutes' time. Every time she's reached the quarter-finals of a major she's gone on to win the title. The American is chasing her 20th Grand Slam crown here in Paris but she's not got into the groove yet. Will that change on the clay today?
We're going to move away from Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal - bye bye for now - and focus on the first two matches coming up on the showcourts. We have four women vying for the remaining places in the semi-finals.
If you've still not made up your mind whether it's Rafa or Nole for you then our reporters can help you decide. Kate Battersby states the case for Novak Djokovic while Matt Trollope is banging the drum for Mr Nadal. You can have your say by tweeting me @sholtscribbles or @rolandgarros.
It's the quarter-final that has everyone quivering. The man who has won nine titles against the man who wants to win it just once. Rafael Nadal faces Novak Djokovic in the second match on Philippe-Chatrier today. Debate over which of them will win began when the draw was made nearly two weeks ago and continued over breakfast. Blog HQ's sister even texted in about who she thinks will win. That's how big it is.
It's lunchtime in Paris. The city continues its daily rhythms. Students have finished their morning lessons, restaurants are open for service, there may even be picnics being unpacked along the Seine. But in this western corner of the capital there is only one thing on the menu - Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal.
It's been quite a day on the Roland-Garros clay. One former winner goes through, one former champion goes out. There are debut RG semi-finals for Stan Wawrinka and Lucie Safarova while a super-cool Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is back - and back in style. What will tomorrow bring? Join me for a 2pm start on the showcourts. Au revoir.
"I'm just so thrilled," says Ana Ivanovic, who is on the comeback trail at #RG15. The 2008 champion will be hoping to reach another final when she faces Lucie Safarova in Thursday's semi. Read how the popular Serbian seventh seed made it in Matt Trollope's report for Roland-Garros.com.
... but he's happy for his fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka, who beat him to reach the semi-finals today. "It's my turn to explain myself, and sometimes you don't know what to say," says a defeated Roger Federer. Read the full story in Kate Battersby's report for Roland-Garros.com.
Court Philippe-Chatrier from 2pm:Serena Williams (USA)  v Sara Errani (Ita) 
Novak Djokovic (Srb)  v Rafael Nadal (Esp) Court Suzanne-Lenglen from 2pm:Timea Bacsinszky (Sui)  v Alison Van Uytvanck (Bel)
Andy Murray (Gbr)  v David Ferrer (Esp) 
C'est tout! Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is into the semi-finals of his home Grand Slam for the second time - and the first time since 2013. Tsonga kneels down to the clay, covers his eyes with his hands and then raises his arms in celebration. He beat Kei Nishikori 6-1 6-4 4-6 3-6 6-3 to reach the last four.
A big service game from Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. A rip-roaring forehand takes him to 40-0 and he holds with a smash volley at the net. Kei Nishikori can't get a foothold right now. Tsonga is one game away from a place in the final four at #RG15.