At Roland Garros, Djokovic conjures bad luck in pain

Novak Djokovic has warded off bad luck: the no. World 1 took revenge on Pablo Carreño Busta, his opponent in his shock disqualification at the US Open, to reach the last four at Roland Garros on Wednesday. But in pain, suffering from the neck and left arm.

Victorious in four sets 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 in just over three hours, Djokovic will face Stefanos Tsitsipas (6th) for a place in the final. The young Greek took revenge 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 in less than two hours against Andrey Rublev, his executioner in the final in Hamburg on the eve of the Parisian Grand Slam.

In the women’s table, after the semi-final between novices which took shape on Tuesday, between the young Polish Iga Swiatek (19 years old, 54th) and the Argentine qualifier Nadia Podoroska (131st), it is a second between initiates that s’ is drawn on Wednesday, between Petra Kvitova (11th), double winner of Wimbledon, and Sofia Kenin (6th), winner of the Australian Open at the beginning of the year.

Carreño Busta did not bring back good memories for Djokovic: their round of 16 of the US Open was cut short when a ball hit by the Serbian in a gesture of temper inadvertently landed on a linesman, which resulted in his disqualification.

Imposing patch on the back of the neck, sore left arm, which he stretched and shook between the points, then had a massage when changing sides, grimaces of pain: “Djoko” was obviously not on his plate Wednesday night.

When Tsitsipas was drying out

His statistics of the first set, his first lost of the Parisian fortnight, testify to this: with 40% of first balls, sixteen unforced errors for only seven winning points, and a lot of badly affected amortizations, he was only the shadow. of himself.

But, over the course of the match, the Serbian somehow improved his percentage and his success on the service, limited the faults and gained in power. This was enough for him to gain the upper hand over his Spanish opponent, despite a few final jolts, but not to appease his mood of bad days.

At 33, Djokovic is just two victories away from a historic achievement: becoming the first player in the Open era, and only the third in history, after Australians Rod Laver and Roy Emerson, at s ‘gift each of the four Grand Slam trophies at least twice.

His next opponent, Tsitsipas, will try to make his way to the Grand Slam final for the first time at 22. He failed on his first attempt, at the 2019 Australian Open.

The Greek has won fifteen consecutive sets: he has not conceded any more since being trailed two innings in the first round (by Munar).

The winner of the Masters 2019 is delighted to shine on Parisian clay, he who “skipped lessons to watch the matches” in his childhood. “That’s just how much I love this tournament,” he said.

“Miracle” for Kvitova

On the women’s side, the more experienced winners on Wednesday, with the successes of Kvitova and Kenin.

The first, victorious 6-3, 6-3 over the German Laura Siegemund (66th), reached for the first time in eight years the last four at Roland Garros, but for the seventh time in her career in a major tournament.

The second, which contained 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 the sonorous resentment of Danielle Collins (57th) in a 100% American duel, will play its first semi-final Porte d’Auteuil, but has a record of fifteen wins for a single Grand Slam defeat in 2020.

For Kvitova (30), who will settle back into the top 10 after the tournament, qualifying is “another miracle” after her final at the 2019 Australian Open.

“I couldn’t have imagined that I would play a semi-final here again after everything I’ve been through,” recalls the Czech left-hander.

In December 2016, a knife attack during a burglary at her home in the Czech Republic put her career at risk for a time: her injured left hand required a major operation and she had been taken away from the courts for five months. .

It was precisely at Roland Garros that she returned to competition in the spring of 2017.

“You could say this place brings me luck,” she smiles.

Kvitova, like Swiatek, has not lost a set since the start of the tournament.

Kenin, on the other hand, has grown accustomed to blurting out one: it did again in the quarter-finals, for the fourth time in five games.

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