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French Open: Ranking the matches on Day 11 from Roland Garros

Busted Racquet

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nadal soderling

Busted Racquet ranks and predicts the four remaining quarterfinal matches set for Wednesday at the French Open, beginning with the one to watch:

1. Rafael Nadal (1) vs. Robin Soderling (5) -- To say these two have a history is like saying the same about Napoleon and Waterloo. Nadal had won four straight French Open titles before he was upset by Soderling in the fourth-round at the 2009 event. Last year, Rafa got his revenge, defeating the Swede in straight sets in the final. It's easy to forget how enormous the Soderling victory was two years ago. We know now that Nadal was battling injury and carrying the emotional weight of his parent's divorce during that period. We recognize Soderling now as one of the top players in the world who's a fixture in the top five of the rankings and a contender in Slams. But at the time, Nadal was still invincible on clay and Soderling was a fringe top-20 player. They had some bad blood stemming from an incident at Wimbledon, but hardly the stuff that makes a rivalry. Wednesday is part III. Nadal may be doubting himself but he's still the one to beat.  Prediction: Nadal in four

2. Maria Sharapova (7) vs. Andrea Petkovic (15) -- The Russian has been on the ropes twice so far in Paris. Can the big-hitting Petkovic deliver the knockout blow and moonwalk her way into the semis? Sharapova has taken a dig at the German's on-court celebration. If her serve continues to be off, she may have to watch it in person. Prediction: Petkovic in two

3. Victoria Azarenka (4) vs. Li Na (6) -- The seeds in front of her are all gone, making Victoria Azarenka's path to her first Grand Slam win as open as she'll ever see it. Caroline Wozniacki was favored for her first Slam too before she ran into the Chinese star in Australia. So too, for that matter, was Azarenka, before she lost to Li Na in Melbourne's round of 16. Prediction: Li Na in three

4. Andy Murray (4) vs. Juan Ignacio Chela -- Murray came back from two sets down to defeat Viktor Troicki on Tuesday. All that stands between him and a date with Rafael Nadal (or Robin Soderling) in the semis is a 31-year-old on his last legs. Will Chela's old knees outlast Murray's bum ankle? I'd like to think they won't. I can't help but shake the feeling that they will. Prediction: Chela in four

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