Djokovic-Murray French semi suspended; winner faces Wawrinka
PARIS — Novak Djokovic has waited and waited to win his first French Open title and complete a career Grand Slam, worrying about when — or perhaps even whether — he would get another chance after coming close in recent years.
Now Djokovic must ponder all of that a little longer: His semifinal against Andy Murray was suspended in the fourth set Friday night, initially halted because of an impending storm and then put off altogether when the rain did arrive minutes later.
The No. 1-seeded Djokovic won the first two sets 6-3, 6-3 and appeared to be in control, before No. 3 Murray took the third 7-5. At 3-all in the fourth, with dark clouds moving in and light fading, they were ushered off the court. Djokovic and Murray will resume Saturday at 1 p.m. local time, a little more than 16 hours after they stopped.
The eventual winner will face a much-more-rested Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland in Sunday’s final.
Wawrinka, who eliminated Roger Federer in the quarterfinals, followed that up by defeating France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 6-7 (1), 7-6 (3), 6-4 on Friday. Wawrinka succeeded largely on the strength of one statistic: He saved 16 of 17 break points.
There were a few whistles and jeers directed at Wawrinka after he ended Tsonga’s bid to give France a men’s champion at its own tournament, something that last happened when Yannick Noah won in 1983.
“Jo is always a tough player to play,” Wawrinka said, “especially when he’s playing at home.”
For Djokovic, so much is at stake.
Finish off Murray, and he would face 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, adding to his five from the Australian Open, two from Wimbledon and one from the U.S. Open.
It would be Djokovic’s third appearance in the title match in Paris.
He lost in the 2012 and 2014 finals to Rafael Nadal, the nine-time champion whose 39-match Roland Garros winning streak was ended by Djokovic in this year’s quarterfinals.