Djokovic beats Murray for chance to hit goal in final
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.