Novak Djokovic One Step Closer to First French Open Title

AP Photo
The Associated Press

World number one Novak Djokovic advanced to the French Open Final where he will attempt to win his first title there and complete a career Grand Slam. He will face off against Stan Wawrinka.

Djokovic and third-seed Andy Murray fought to the bitter end in a thrilling five-set match that took two days to complete. The match started on Friday. Djokovic easily defeated Murray in the first two sets. He secured all his serves, destroyed Murray at the net, and dominated Murray’s serves. He appeared untouchable.

But never count out Murray. The set was very familiar to their match in the Australian Open, which Djokovic won, but not without a fight from Murray.

All of a sudden, Murray controlled the set and Djokovic lost his nerves. Djokovic had two opportunities to break Murray, but failed each time, which kept the men on serve. Murray slammed home four aces and won 92% of his second-serve points. This set finally found Murray working the net, who won seven out nine net points.

The skies darkened as a storm made its way to Paris. No, not talking about Murray, even though that is probably how Djokovic felt. Even though Murray dominated, Djokovic remained in it. Both men still on serve until Murray had enough. He finally broke Djokovic to tie the set and the holds for love to force a fourth set.

A rejuvenated Murray fist-pumped and stormed to his chair. Djokovic appeared confused and helpless.

Skies continued to darken, but the men took the court to start the fourth set. Murray’s serve was a tad shaky as he provided Djokovic with three break points due to unforced errors. But he woke up to fight off two of the points and save his serve with a beautiful ace to keep both men on serve. The men then exchange breaks and stay on serve before play is suspended due to the storm.

The match resumed Saturday afternoon Paris time at 3-3 in the fourth set and it picks up right where it halted. Both men played great until Murray broke Djokovic to take a 6-5 lead in the set. He forces Djokovic into more long rallies, ending up victorious at 7-5.

In the fifth set, Murray completely collapsed and returned to his first set form to secure a spot in his 16th Grand Slam final. He must face Stan Wawrinka, but there is no reason besides injury or illness (or Stan Wawrinka!) to stop him from finally winning the French Open.