After Nadal Test, Murray Awaits Djokovic In Today’s French Open SF

While the win over Nadal may be a career highlight for him, Djokovic is still two wins away from French Open glory.

2 min read
Novak Djokovic in the French Open quarterfinal against Rafael Nadal. (Photo: 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 the 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.

(Photo: AP)
(Photo: AP)

He’ll resume his journey later today, 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.

(Photo: AP)
(Photo: AP)

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.

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