Three of the four Grand Slam champions still playing at the 2020 French Open advanced to the semifinals on Wednesday.
Novak Djokovic continued his perfect season in matches that he has completed with a four-set win over Pablo Carreno Busta. The top seed in the men’s draw will face No. 5 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in one of two men’s singles semifinals Friday. Rafael Nadal and Diego Schwartzman clinched their positions Tuesday.
Sofia Kenin and Petra Kvitová remained the only two seeded women left in their draw by picking up quarterfinal wins over unseeded players.
The pair of major winners will square off in one of two Thursday semifinals at Roland Garros. Iga Swiatek and Nadia Podoroska face off in the opener.
No. 1 Novak Djokovic def. No. 17 Pablo Carreno Busta, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4
No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas def. No. 13 Andrey Rublev, 7-5, 6-2, 6-3
Djokovic lost his first set of the tournament to Carreno Busta, who challenged him for a set at the U.S. Open before the top seed was disqualified.
The 33-year-old Serbian moved into his second straight French Open semifinal and 10th of his career by breaking Carreno Busta on six occasions and capturing 72 percent of his first-serve points. If the 2016 French Open champ gets past Tsitsipas in the semifinal, he could set up a showdown with clay-court king Rafael Nadal in the men’s final Sunday.
Tsitsipas avenged his loss from two weeks ago in Hamburg, Germany, to Rublev by finishing off the Russian in straight sets.
Tsitsipas and Rublev both put 84 percent of their first serves in play, but Tsitsipas was much more effective in winning points.
The two-time Grand Slam semifinalist took 80 percent of his points on first serve and 61 percent of his second-serve points. Rublev won 66 percent of points on first serve and 38 percent in second-serve moments.
The Greek’s only other major semifinal berth occurred at the 2019 Australian Open, where he lost in straight sets to Nadal.
No. 4 Sofia Kenin def. Danielle Collins, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0
No. 7 Petra Kvitová def. Laura Siegemund, 6-3, 6-3
Kenin followed a familiar path to reach the final four.
The fourth seed was pushed to the third set for the fourth time in Paris, but once again, she controlled the final part of the match.
Kenin blanked Danielle Collins over six games by winning 77 percent of her first-serve points, 50 percent of the points on second serve and 12 of her 15 receiving points.
The Russia native still has a chance to become the first woman to win multiple majors in a calendar year since Angelique Kerber in 2016.
Kvitová should pose the toughest challenge yet to Kenin since the No. 7 seed has looked strong in each of her five victories.
The Czech native outclassed Laura Siegemund in a majority of the stat categories, including winners, break points won, and points taken on first and second serve.
Wednesday’s victors will square off in the second of Thursday’s semifinals, and the winner should have the advantage in Saturday’s final since the winner of that match would face an unseeded player participating in her first major final.
No. 1 Novak Djokovic v No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas – Friday, Oct 9
No. 4 Sofia Kenin v No. 7 Petra Kvitová – Thursday, Oct 8