Nadal extends winning streak in Paris

June 7, 2006 at 6:24 PM

PARIS, June 7 (UPI) -- Rafael Nadal Wednesday advanced to the men's semifinals at the French Open in Paris when Novak Djokovic retired with thigh and back ailments.

The win ran Nadal's clay-court match winning streak to 58 straight.

"I feel good," said the second-seeded Nadal. "I am playing high level this year than last year, no? I know I am a better player this year."

In the semifinals, Nadal will face No. 4 Ivan Ljubicic, who was a 6-2, 6-2, 6-3, winner over France's Julien Benneteau.

Ljubicic, who qualified for a Grand slam semifinal for the fist time in his career, had 13 aces and broke Benneteau's serve eight times.

Friday's other men's semifinal will feature top-seeded Roger Federer and No. 3 David Nalbandian of Argentina.

The women's semifinals on Thursday will pit No. 2 seed Kim Clijsters against No. 5 Justine Henin-Hardenne and No. 8 Svetlana Kuznetsova against No. 16 Nicole Vaidisova.

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