Djokovic beats Mur­ray for chance to hit goal in fi­nal

Los Angeles Times - - WOMEN’S WORLD CUP -

PARIS— No­vak Djokovic squeezed his eyes shut and raised both arms, a rather re­served cel­e­bra­tion at the con­clu­sion of his upand-down two-day, five-set French Open semi­fi­nal vic­tory over Andy Mur­ray.

There’s one more match for Djokovic to win if he’s go­ing to col­lect his first cham­pi­onship at Roland Gar­ros and com­plete a long-sought ca­reer Grand Slam, and con­serv­ing en­ergy was key.

The No. 1-seeded Djokovic reached his third French Open fi­nal the hard­way, get­ting past No. 3 Mur­ray, 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 5-7, 6-1, on Satur­day in the re­sump­tion of a sus­pended match to stretch his win­ning streak to 28.

The semi­fi­nal was halted at 3-all in the fourth set Fri­day night be­cause of an in­com­ing storm. Mur­ray took that set when they re­turned, but Djokovic was su­perb in the fifth, and Satur­day’s play took 61 min­utes, bring­ing the to­tal count to4 hours 9 min­utes.

“No dif­fer­ent from any other match that we played against each other. It’s al­ways a thriller, al­ways a marathon,” Djokovic said.

He al­ready owns eight ma­jor ti­tles, but none from Roland Gar­ros, where he lost the 2012 and 2014 fi­nals to Rafael Nadal, the nine­time cham­pion he elim­i­nated in this year’s quar­ter­fi­nals. On Sun­day, less than 25 hours af­ter fin­ish­ing off Mur­ray, Djokovic will face No. 8 Stan Wawrinka with a chance to be­come only the eighth man in ten­nis his­tory to own at least one tro­phy from each of the sport’s four most pres­ti­gious tour­na­ments.

If he beats Wawrinka for the 18th time in 21meet­ings, and Djokovic also would be the first man since Jim Courier in 1992 to win the Aus­tralian Open and French Open con­sec­u­tively, putting him half­way to the first cal­en­dar-year Grand Slam in 46 years.

Wawrinka won his semi­fi­nal against Jo-Wil­fried Tsonga on Fri­day, as sched­uled, so he en­joyed a less stress­ful Satur­day than Djokovic. Wawrinka will be mak­ing his French Open fi­nal de­but.

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