After several rainy and tense days for organizers and tennis players, the tournament reached the semifinal stage. They catching up with the backlog, but some players had to play three consecutive days. Tomorrow will become known the name of finalists in men and women at Roland Garros, so stay tuned for one of the last matches in Paris.
(1) Serena Williams – Kiki Bertens
3-time winner and defending champion Serena Williams and 1st time Grand Slam semifinalist Kiki Bertens will open the program today at Philippe-Chatrier in the 1st semifinal match in women’s draw.
Serena is in the semifinals after hard quarterfinal match against Yulia Putintseva. 60th in world ranking took the lead with 7/5 in the 1st set, but after that Serena improved her game and won with a 5/7 6/4 6/1 scoreline. “I kept missing. Just misfiring. Honestly, at one point I didn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Williams said. “I guess I was not the most positive mentally, but obviously I didn’t want to stop.”
She finished the match with 36 winners and 43 unforced errors. She won in 2 sets her first 4 matches, but yesterday was the biggest test for her and she passed it.
Fantastic run for the 24-year-old and 58th-ranked Bertens continues. She eliminated 3rd seed and Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber, Camila Giorgi, epic battle against Daria Kasatkina, ended 10/8 in 3rd set, 15th seed Madison Keys and yesterday 8th seed and last year semifinalist Timea Bacsinsky. This is her 4th appearance in Paris and her previous best result was 4th round, achieved in 2014. “I am just going to go out there and have fun again and give my all,” Bertens said after her 7-5 6-2 triumph over Bacsinsky. With this result Bertens will make her debut in top 30 on Monday, but if she reaches the final she will be part of top 20.
Serena and Kiki have played 1 match between each other. It happened also in Grand Slam event – last year at US Open Serena won 7/6 6/3.
Will that wonderful fairytale continue for Bertens or Serena will take her out of the tournament? They are first on the central court.
(4) Garbine Muguruza – (21) Samantha Stosur
Muguruza was on a quarterfinal stage three years in a row, but now she passed that stage and she is part of the last 4.
After serious problems in 1st round against Schmiedlova, Muguruza got four 2-set wins. In quarters she beat one of big surprises in the tournament – Shelby Rogers 7/5 6/3. The Spaniard hit 21 winners and only 13 unforced errors in the match although the difficult start, she quickly calmed down and get the things into her hands. “I definitely want to keep going,I wanted so much to win today and hopefully, I can make it to the last day.” Said Garbine after the match.
Finalist from 2010 Samantha Stosur is on semifinal of Grand Slam for the first time since 2012 Roland Garros. Now she is back in top form in final rounds of the tournament. The 32-year old beat last year finalist Lucie Safarova on 3rd round and 2014 finalist Simona Halep. On quarters Stosur played Tsvetana Pironkova. It was a tough 2-set match for the Australian, but she finished it 6/4 7/6. “There has obviously been a few dips along the way there,” Stosur said. “It’s important to, I guess, really believe in yourself and what you’re doing and know, ‘If I keep doing this, I can turn it around.'”
Muguruza and Stosur have 1 match in the past. 2014 in Madrid the Australian beat Garbine in 3-sets in front of home crowd. Before this semifinal Stosur said “It’s going to be a tough one against Garbine, I will have to play well, and if I’m not playing my best I will have to find a way and do something that’s going to hopefully put me in a position to do well.”
They play first in Suzanne-Lenglen at 1:00 pm.
(1) Novak Djokovic – (13) Dominic Thiem
For the eighth time in his career Novak Djokovic reached the semifinals in Paris. In his quarterfinal he played Tomas Berdych, against whom he recorded his victory number 24 of 26. The Serbian won in straight sets 6/3 7/5 6/3. One of the few poor facts that can be seen in statistics from the match is that Djokovic has not done an ace against 1 double fault. He made 12 for 5 matches. In the match against Berdych, Novak got to the net only 6 times, but won the rally in all of this cases. After the battle the world no.1 said “It’s a Grand Slam quarterfinal so it’s always a difficult match. It’s hard to dictate the play in these conditions, it makes it tough tactically,” He sounded positive, although the weather last days confused his program “I played my best tennis at the right moment, I’m happy about that. I’m happy to come back here on Centre court every day.”
In the tournament so far he lost only 1 set before the semifinals. It happened on first day of his 4rd round match, when Roberto Bautista Agut got the 1st set. After the rain delay and also day delay Novak won the next 3 sets.
13th seed Dominic Thiem reaches the semifinals in Grand Slam event for 1st time in his career. Yesterday he beat 12th seed David Goffin 4/6 7/6 6/4 6/1. In the press conference he said “ It was very good and very intense match.” Dominic won not only the match, and also a place in top 10. Austrian star won 4 of his 5 matches in the tournament in 4 sets. In his way to the semifinals Thiem beat 3 good clay-courters Cervantes, Garcia-Lopez and Granollers, another young star Zverev and yesterday Belgian Goffin. Thiem hit 49 winners in the quarterfinal and won 17/20 net points. He is so aggressive in all matches and always reaches more than 40 winners. About the semifinal against Novak the Austrian says “It’s gonna be tough, he is on the different level than all the other players, but I’m still in good shape. The match starts at 0-0 and everything I can do is give all my best and then will see what happens.”
About the semifinal match Djokovic said for Thiem “He’s playing the best tennis of his life, no doubt about it” They met 2 times and Djokovic won these matches with a same score 6/3 6/4 in Shanghai Masters 2014 and this year in Miami. The match between Novak and Dominic is 2nd in Suzanne-Lenglen program. Be ready for this big and probably a lot of quality battle!
(2) Andy Murray – (3) Stan Wawrinka
The 2 most highly-ranked players in the bottom half are due for a semifinal clash. With many troubles in their ways, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka are in the last 4.
Andy Murray started his quarterfinal slow again and lost the 1st set against Gasquet. After that he needed to work hard for the 2nd . In last 2 parts the world no.2 was the main dictator. With final score 5/7 7/6 6/0 6/2 Andy Murray reaches the semifinal level for 3rd consecutive time. After the match in Wednesday he said “It was very important for me to win the second set, it would have been very tough for me to come back if I’d have lost it. It was a very tough match, I’m just glad to get through.” Murray’s way to the semis wasn’t easy. He played 2 5-sets matches in the start of the tournament but in the process and as the time advanced he found his game and now he is on semifinal. In his matches so far he has scored over 55% first serve and made 45 aces for those 20 sets. For his next opponent, last year champion Wawrinka, Murray said “He’s played great tennis here the past couple years. It’s going to be extremely tough, hopefully I can play my best tennis and try and reach my first final here.”
Defending champion Stan Wawrinka is on the last stages in Paris again. In the quarters Wawrinka passed the Spanish sensation Albert Ramos-Vinolas in 3-sets 6/2 6/1 7/6. In his way until semifinal Wawrinka played 1 5-sets match, 1 match in 4 sets and made 3 clear wins. In the 4th round against Troicki, the Swiss served 19 aces and hit 67 winners. In the previous match he didn’t show high level, but it was enough to overcome Vinolas easily.
About the semifinal match and Andy Murray, Wawrinka said “I think he’s been an amazing player for many, many years. He always tries to … be a better player. The way he’s improved on clay is quite impressive,” “We’ve normally had some good battles in the past… But if you were to compare our two careers he’s well ahead of me… He’s in the Big Four (and) there is a reason for this.” And he is right. They played each other 15 times and Murray leads with a minimal difference. He leads the rivalry 8-7. Wawrinka won last 3 matches. The last one was in London for ATP finals last year and he beat Murray in 2. On clay they played 2 times and the defending champion is the winner in both.
2-time Grand Slam champions come out for a final spot in Roland Garros 2016 in 2nd match at Philippe-Chatrier.
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