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Federer closing in on first French title

WORLD No2 Roger Federer swept into his 20th consecutive Grand Slam semi-final with a blistering demolition of home favourite Gael Monfils in the French Open.<br /><br />The Swiss master, 27, was forced to save a set point in an opening set tie-break before fighting back to clinch a 7-6 (8-6), 6-2, 6-4 victory over the fancied 11th seed in two hours and 10 minutes.<br /><br />Incredibly, despite 13 Grand Slam successes, Federer is yet to triumph at Roland Garros. But he has been red-hot favourite to break his duck this year ever since four-time champion Rafael Nadal suffered a shock fourth round defeat to Sweden&rsquo;s Robin Soderling.<br /><br />First though, Federer must face in-form fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro in the last four, after the Argentine comfortably dispatched Spanish No16 seed Tommy Robredo.<br /><br />Surprise package Soderling takes on Andy Murray&rsquo;s conqueror Fernando Gonzalez in the other semi-final.<br /><br />Second seed Serena Williams saw her hopes of a second French Open title ended by Svetlana Kuznetsova in a nail-biting quarter-final. The 2002 champion fought back after going a set down but tired to hand the Russian a 7-6 (7-3), 5-7, 7-5 victory.<br /><br />Kuznetsova now faces Samantha Stosur in today&rsquo;s semi-final after the Australian 30th seed beat Sorana Cirstea, of Romania, 6-1, 6-3.<br /><br />Today&rsquo;s other semi-final sees top seed Dinara Safina take on Slovakia&rsquo;s Dominika Cibulkova.