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French Open Lookahead: Djokovic-Murray, Wawrinka-Tsonga

French Open Lookahead: Eyeing career Slam, Djokovic vs Murray in semis; Wawrinka plays Tsonga

French Open Lookahead: Djokovic-Murray, Wawrinka-Tsonga

PARIS (AP) -- Ever since adding his first Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles in 2011 to his haul of Australian Open trophies, Novak Djokovic has been coming to the French Open with one thing in mind: completing a career Grand Slam.

He's sure come close.

In 2012, Djokovic lost in the final at Roland Garros to Rafael Nadal.

In 2013, he lost in the semifinals to Nadal.

In 2014, he lost yet again in the final to -- yes, that's right -- Nadal.

And now, in 2015, Djokovic finally beat the nearly unbeatable Nadal on the red clay of Court Philippe Chatrier. Except this long-sought victory came in the quarterfinals, meaning the No. 1-ranked Djokovic needs two more wins to finally get his French Open championship.

He'll resume his journey Friday, facing No. 3 Andy Murray in the semifinals.

"This is a big win, which I will enjoy tonight," Djokovic said after his surprisingly quick 7-5, 6-3, 6-1 dismissal of Nadal on Wednesday, ending the Spaniard's 39-match winning streak in the clay-court major.

"Tomorrow is a new day and I have to move on. It's only quarterfinals, and I want to fight for the title," Djokovic continued. "That's what I came here for."

The 28-year-old Serb can become the eighth man in tennis history with at least one title from each Grand Slam tournament, joining Nadal, Roger Federer, Andre Agassi, Don Budge, Roy Emerson, Rod Laver and Fred Perry.

At least one of those predecessors predicts Djokovic will finish the job by getting past Murray, then winning the championship on Sunday.

"Already read (Monday's) paper," Agassi wrote during a Twitter chat hosted by the AP. "@DjokerNole beats Wawrinka in the finals."

Eight-time major champion Djokovic has won 27 matches in a row; two-time major champion Murray's winning streak is at 15, all on clay. Both are coached by former players who won Slam titles themselves: Djokovic works with Boris Becker, Murray with Amelie Mauresmo.

Djokovic leads head-to-head 18-8, taking their past seven meetings and 10 of the last 11. The one exception in that span: Murray beat Djokovic in the 2013 Wimbledon final to become the first British man in 77 years to win that tournament.

This will be Murray's third semifinal at Roland Garros; he lost to Nadal in straight sets at that stage in 2011 and 2014.

"I'm going to have to come up with a good game plan and try to stick to it throughout," Murray said, "which is something that I feel like I have done pretty well the last couple of months."

So, too, has Djokovic.

Here's a look at what else is happening at the French Open on Friday:


The other semifinal is No. 8 Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland against No. 14 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, a matchup that's been about as even as possible. They've met six times, with each man winning three matches. They've faced each other twice at the French Open, both times going five sets, and each won once. Both seek a berth in a second major final: Wawrinka won the 2014 Australian Open; Tsonga was runner-up to Djokovic there in 2008. They even were born just three weeks apart in 1985. The most compelling story line? Tsonga hopes to give France its first men's champion at Roland Garros since Yannick Noah in 1983; Henri Leconte was the host country's last male finalist, in 1988.


The forecast says there is a chance of a storm, maybe including hail, in the afternoon. It's also supposed to be the hottest day of the tournament, with a predicted high of 90 degrees (32 Celsius).


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Updated : 2021-09-20 20:41 GMT+08:00