French Open

Major 23 still on the cards as Djokovic springs into French Open last four


This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Major 23 still on the cards as Djokovic springs into French Open last four

CHALLENGED. Serbia's Novak Djokovic (right) shakes hands with Russia's Karen Khachanov after their quarterfinal match.

Kai Pfaffenbach/REUTERS

Novak Djokovic struggles to find his rhythm against Russian Karen Khachanov but recovers just in time to book a semifinal spot

PARIS, France – Novak Djokovic overcame a first-set blip to beat Russian Karen Khachanov, 4-6, 7-6(0), 6-2, 6-4, and reach the French Open semifinals on Tuesday, June 6 (Wednesday, June 7, Manila time) staying on course for a record-breaking 23rd men’s singles Grand Slam title.

The twice Roland Garros champion could not find a weakness in the 11th-seeded Khachanov’s serve at first, but once he took the second set tiebreak, there was no looking back for the Serbian.

On a court Philippe Chatrier gradually being covered by the shade, the 36-year-old did not have a single break opportunity and looked a tad slow in the opening set, but his metronomic game eventually clicked and there was little Khachanov could do to top his opponent’s march into the last four.

“He was the better player for most of the first two sets, I was struggling to find my rhythm, I came into this a bit sluggish,” Djokovic said.

“Then I played a perfect tiebreak and from that moment onwards I played a couple of levels higher, managed to win eight points in a row to finish it off.”

Djokovic, however, was not completely happy with his performance but knew victory would not come easy.

“I missed a couple of easy shots today. These things happen sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. He has a big serve but maybe doesn’t move as well so I tried to expose him and played unpredictable. It was a big fight but that’s what you expect from a Grand Slam quarterfinal.”

But the last man standing between Djokovic and a seventh French Open final will be world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, who mauled fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, 6-2, 6-1, 7-6(5). 

No break points

Khachanov broke Djokovic’s serve to lead 3-2 and, although the world No. 3 threatened in a 10-minute ninth game, the Russian held and went on to pocket the set.

There were no break points in the second set but Khachanov started to struggle and paid for his efforts, failing to score a point in the tiebreak as Djokovic leveled the contest.

Djokovic got the early break thanks to a netcord in the third and stole Khachanov’s serve again to move one set from victory with apparent ease.

The Serbian broke again early in the fourth set, only to serve a double fault that allowed Khachanov to level for 4-4 and keep his slim hopes of an upset alive.

Coming back in the set cost Khachanov too much though and the Russian was broken to love in the following game, losing eight points in a row as Djokovic ended the contest with an ace. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!