For two days, Paris was inundated by the fury of river Seine. Along with other City engagements, the schedule of 2016 French Open at Roland Garros was badly affected. Regardless, play was possible on Wednesday despite interruptions. The off-shoot of Wednesday’s play is the Friday showdown between defending champion Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland and world no.2 Andy Murray. In another highlight, world no.1 Novak Djokovic crossed US $ 100 in career earnings after reaching the quarterfinals with a victory over Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut. In other results, Australian Sam Stosur and Spain’s Garbine Muguruza have reached the women’s singles semifinals. In women’s doubles draw, India’s Sania Mirza and Swiss Martina Hingis have gone out of the reckoning. Other Indians, who found the exit-route were men’s doubles pairs of Rohan Bopanna/Romanian Florin Mergea and Leander Paes/ Poland’s Marcin Matkowski.
Andy Murray had another close shave in Wednesday’s quarterfinal against the 9th seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet. It was unusual for the Scot to fritter away a 5-2 first-set advantage and lose the set 5-7. In the second set, Murray raced to another 5-2 lead but lapsed into a passive play yet again. That allowed Gasquet to climb back, level the score and a force a tiebreak. Somehow, Murray took the tiebreak and thereafter romped home with a 5-7, 7-6, 6-0, 6-2 victory. To reach the final at Roland Garros, Murray will have to beat defending champion and no.3 seed Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland. On his part, Wawrinka cruised past unseeded Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-1, 6-2, 7-6. Murray and Wawrinka will play their 16th match on Friday and Murray has an 8-7 head-to-head advantage over the Swiss. But the Scot has lost both his last matches to Wawrinka and it will certainly be a tough match with Wawrinka trying to retain his 2015 trophy and Murray attempting to reach his first-ever final at Paris.
World no.1 Novak Djokovic began the French Open with career earnings of $US99,673,404 but crossed the $ 100 million mark by reaching the quarterfinals. Djokovic played against Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut and lost the first set 3-6. In the second, the Serb leveled the set scores by winning at 6-4 and raced to a 4-1 lead in the third set, when play was interrupted due to rain. After resumption, Djokovic broke immediately and won the third set 6-1 but ran into trouble with Bautista opening a 4-2 lead in the fourth set. However, the Serb found his footing and reeled off 5 out of the next 6 games to win the match 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, 7-5. For a place in the semifinals, Djokovic will need to beat Czech Republic’s no.7 seed Tomas Berdych, who scored a surprisingly easy 6-3, 7-5 6-3 victory over Spain’s 11th seeded David Ferrer. In another men’s quarterfinal, Austria’s Dominic Thiem defeated Spain’s Marcel Granollers 6-2, 6-7, 6-1, 6-4 to become the first man from his country to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal. For a place in last four, Thiem will face Belgium’s David Goffin, who fended off a tough challenge from Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 victory.
In women’s draw, Australia’s Sam Stosur and Spain’s Garbine Muguruza have already entered the semifinals. Stosur defeated Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova 6-4, 7-6 while Muguruza beat USA’s Shelby Rogers 7-5, 6-3. World no.1 Serena Williams devastated the defenses of 18th seeded Ukrainian and entered the quarterfinals with a 6-1 6-1 victory in just 26 minutes. Serena is yet to a drop a set at Roland Garros this year and her quarterfinal opponent will be unseeded Kazakh Yulia Putintseva, who defeated no.12 seeded Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 7-5, 7-5. Other women’s quarterfinalists on Wednesday were; Kiki Bertens, a 7-6, 6-3 victor over USA’s Madison Keys and Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky, who ended the run of veteran American Venus Williams with a 6-2, 6-4 victory.
After the defeats of Sania Mirza/Martina Hingis, Leander Paes/Marcin Matkowski and Rohan Bopanna/Florin Mergea, India’s challenge in women and men’s doubles draw has come to an end. However, in mixed doubles, Sania and Croatia’s Ivan Dodig and Leander Paes with Swiss Martina Hingis have reached the quarterfinals.
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