It's Djokovic vs Murray & Serena vs Muguruza

Sports Friday 03/June/2016 21:11 PM
By: Times News Service
It's Djokovic vs Murray & Serena vs Muguruza

Paris: Novak Djokovic was in unplayable mode as he cantered into the French Open final by crushing Austrian tyro Dominic Thiem 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 on Friday, moving closer to the only grand slam title missing from his collection.
The Serbian world number one comfortably contained the 22-year-old Thiem to set up a heavyweight final against second seed Andy Murray.
Djokovic, who will be playing his fourth Roland Garros final, wasted no time in the first two sets, proving too consistent for the erratic 13th seed.
The Austrian opened up a 3-0 lead in the set courtesy of his stunning single-handed backhand. But he was brought back down to earth as the 11-times grand slam champion claimed five games in a row before wrapping up the match when Thiem smacked a backhand wide.
"I think it was the first time in my career I played a semi-final on (Court Suzanne) Lenglen, it was special," said Djokovic, who had to play away from the main show court after terrible weather wreaked havoc on the tournament's schedule.
While in the preceding women's semifinal Garbine Muguruza beat Samatha Stosur in a half-empty stadium, the crowd turned up for the clash between Djokovic and a youngster who has been widely tipped to reach the top of the world rankings one day.
"I had to play my best tennis on some points," Djokovic said.
"I did not start this tournament the way I wanted but today I played my best match of the tournament," said Djokovic after calling the ball girls and boys to join him for a two-arm salute to the crowd.
"I have been dreaming all year long of reaching the Roland Garros final."
Thiem was playing his first grand slam semifinal, Djokovic his eighth at Roland Garros and experience proved to be paramount as the Serb perfectly handled the important points.
The Austrian lost the first three games, allowing Djokovic to gain confidence and the Serb maintained the pressure.
Djokovic had another chance to steal his opponent's serve at 4-1 but Thiem saved the break point with an exquisite backhand down the line. He lost the set on his serve when he buried a forehand into the net.
Despite dropping jaws in the crowd with fine backhand winners and a few stunning forehands, Thiem was just too inexperienced as Djokovic blazed through the second set.
Thiem got his first break in the third set but that spurred a purring Djokovic back into action and his opponent, who won the Nice tournament last month, had no answers.

Merry for Murray
Britain's Andy Murray ended the French Open reign of Stan Wawrinka on Friday, downing the defending champion in four sets to reach his first Roland Garros final, where he will face the might of world number one Novak Djokovic.
Breaking his claycourt jinx against the Swiss, second seed Murray also becomes the first Briton to contest the Roland Garros crown since the 1930s -- a landmark he did not think he would achieve.
"I am extremely proud. I never expected to reach a final here," he said courtside after a 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 victory that cemented his growing reputation on a surface he once mistrusted.
"I knew today if I wanted to win I would have to play one of my best claycourt matches. I played one of my best matches today."
Murray bested Djokovic in May's Italian Open final, their most recent encounter on clay.
Looking re-energised after a rest day that the pair on the other side of the draw missed out on, both Murray and Wawrinka started brightly, the Scot pacing in monochrome while the Swiss lit up a dull Philippe Chatrier showcourt in fluorescent yellow.
Murray came close to losing his very first service game, which he took after five deuces. But he then broke his third-seeded opponent and consolidated with a pinpoint lob to lead 3-1, winning the set in an epic 10th game in which Wawrinka held three break points.
With Wawrinka's trademark booming backhand slightly misfiring, Murray, who held a winning 8-7 record against the Swiss but had lost their three contests on clay, then took a firmer grip on the match.
With Wawrinka's range increasingly deserting him -- he ended the match with 43 unforced errors against the Scot's 22 -- Murray closed out proceedings in the fourth set with two further breaks of serve.

Serena in final
Serena Williams outlasted gritty Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens in two tough sets on Friday to reach the French Open final, where she will play fourth seeded Spaniard Garbine Muguruza with her 22nd grand slam singles title at stake.
Defending champion Williams, who won the first of her three Roland Garros crowns in 2002, started slowly for the second day running, her early play littered with the unforced errors that had characterised Thursday's laboured three-set quarterfinal win against Kazakh Yulia Putintseva.
The champion was broken in the first game by her unseeded opponent who, entering the contest on a 12-match winning singles streak in all competitions, showed no sign of nerves in her first major semi-final.
Williams eventually took the first set 7-6 on a tiebreak that she edged 9-7, settling into a more comfortable rhythm in the second set, which she won 6-4.
"The first set was not very easy but I think that today I played better. (Bertens) played very well," Williams said courtside.
For 58th-ranked Bertens, Friday's defeat marked the end of an unprecedented major run she dubbed "crazy" after her quarter-final win on Thursday over Swiss eighth seed Timea Bacsinszky.
Serena will attempt to equal Steffi Graf's professional-era record of 22 grand slam singles titles.

Muguruza through
Garbine Muguruza controlled a late bout of nerves to reach her second grand slam final on Friday, beating Australian Samantha Stosur 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinals.
The Spanish fourth seed, runner-up at Wimbledon last year, became the first Spanish woman to reach the Roland Garros final since Conchita Martinez in 2000.
"I have learned a lot how to control my emotions inside the court and outside the court. I think it's very important, because sometimes it's not too good to show them or not controlling them," Muguruza told reporters.
"In a tournament like this you have to be very focused. It's very long. Even longer with this kind of weather that you have to wait a lot. Here I'm learning. Here just I'm putting everything into that and it's going well."
Muguruza, 22, made the most of 2010 runner-up Stosur's early jitters on Court Suzanne Lenglen and used her booming forehand to race into a 4-0 lead in the opening set.
She was also well ahead in the second set before Stosur finally made her sweat.
"I played very well until I led 5-2 in the second set and then she stepped up a gear and I became a bit nervous," Muguruza, looking to become the first Spaniard to lift the trophy since Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in 1998, said courtside.
"Emotions sometimes can be bad."