Djokovic, Sharapova Win at French Open; Wed. Preview
by Staff | June 4th, 2014, 12:42 am

Novak Djokovic and Ernests Gulbis advanced to a semifinal meeting after victories on Tuesday at Roland Garros.

Novak Djokovic, who would reclaim the No. 1 ranking with a first French Open title, defeated No. 8 seed Milos Raonic 7-5, 7-6(5), 6-4.

“He’s been playing really well,” Djokovic said of Gulbis. “He’s confident. But again, I like my chances because I have had now couple of great weeks on the clay courts from Rome to now last 10 days here in Roland Garros.”

Djokovic has now won 10 straight matches heading into the Roland Garros semifinals.

“Even though it was a straight set win, few points here and there kind of decided the winner,” Djokovic said of the Raonic meeting. “That’s what I was expecting. I knew that he’s going to serve and I’m not going to have many opportunities, but when I do have them, I should use them. I have done well.”

Gulbis followed his previous-round win over Roger Federer with a straight-set victory over world No. 6 Tomas Berdych, beating the Czech 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 to reach his first Grand Slam semifinal.

“I felt physically so good,” Gulbis said. “I felt that I can run forever. I felt that he cannot make winners. That’s how I felt on court. I felt that I covered it really well. If I feel so confident from the baseline, then everything just comes together.”

Gulbis trails Djokovic 1-4 in their career head-to-head meetings.

“I think just for me it’s 0-0 with him in matches,” Gulbis said. “The way I’m playing now, I never played like this. I never felt like this. What was in the past I don’t even consider. I beat him once, also in a bad match. He was changing racquet, and he was playing really bad.”

Gulbis will likely break into the Top 10 for the first time on the ATP Rankings following the completion of Roland Garros.

“My happiness comes only from doing my job well,” Gulbis said. “Then I can really live my life to the maximum. I can enjoy the stuff much more. It’s really important for my happiness just to be successful on the tennis court. Forget about the money. Forget about fame. It’s just about my inner comfort. That’s it. For me, that’s all that matters at the end of the day.”

On the women’s side on Tuesday both Maria Sharapova and Genie Bouchard won quarterfinal matches to advance to a semifinal meeting of stately blondes.

The No. 7-seeded Sharapova defeated unseeded Spaniard Garbine Muguruza 1-6, 7-5, 6-1, while Bouchard had an equally-difficult time overcoming No. 14-seeded Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 7-6(4), 2-6, 7-5.

Serving at a set and 4-5 down, Sharapova found her range, winning nine of the next 10 games.

“In the second set, when I was making her hit a second ball after her serve or when I was being a bit more aggressive on the second serves, taking a bit more chances, all of a sudden she’s not hitting so freely,” Sharapova said. “Little by little I started playing a bit better, started getting in the court a little bit more, playing a little bit more aggressive, serving better than I did in the first set, returning as well, giving myself more looks at break points.”

Bouchard benefited when Suarez Navarro, up 4-1 in the third, choked up on the bat and failed to aggressively put the Canadian away.

“At the end of the third set I thought I was getting the upper hand, began to believe that I could win,” Bouchard said. “I’m just excited to be in the semifinals and to stay a little longer in Paris. I’m just going to enjoy myself in the semifinals.”

Sharapova is only 8-9 career in Grand Slam semifinals, and 2-2 in French Open semis. Bouchard is the first Canadian ever to reach two Grand Slam semifinals, losing her first earlier this year to Li Na at the Australian Open. The winner of their meeting will be in the Top 10 following Roland Garros, while the loser will not.

On court Wednesday at the French Open in quarterfinal play will be (10) Sara Errani vs. (28) Andrea Petkovic, (23) Gael Monfils vs. (7) Andy Murray, (27) Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. (4) Simona Halep, and (1) Rafael Nadal vs. (4) David Ferrer.

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36 Comments for Djokovic, Sharapova Win at French Open; Wed. Preview

Dan Martin Says:

I’ve got my predictions for todays matches up at – I think Maria Sharapova deserves a lot of credit for weathering the storm in each of her past two matches. Nole and Gulbis should be quite interesting.

Josh Says:

“Tennis needs its true villain.” Gulbis is the “villain” the sport deserves, and also the one it needs right now – well, he’s not really a villain, the media screw around with his words and make him look like one!

Hippy Chic Says:

Josh who is the female vilian then?

Hippy Chic Says:

sorry villian….

Josh Says:

That is a tough one – which of the women do the press seem to love-hate the most? I can’t think of anyone in particular

Polo Says:

Gulbis is really a very funny guy with very tongue-in-cheek comments to the press. The media, as they often do, manipulate his words to make them appear nasty and controversial to fit the image they have created for him. Unfortunately, a lot of readers fall into the media trap and buy into it.

Polo Says:

The villain is the press.

Hippy Chic Says:

Polo as the saying goes never let the truth get in the way of a good story….

Okiegal Says:

I think Sloane Stephens can be a tad haughty…..but don’t know if I could label her as a villain…….a brat maybe???? lol She gets a little cocky on occasion. I do like to watch her play.

Colin Says:

Hippy, you “correct” that word to “villian”, which is still wrong. Please tell me (I really want to know), why will you not use a spell checker?

OK, it will probably land you with American spelling, but at least it’ll be consistent. Mind you, American spelling itself is not consistent, but still…

Polo Says:

Uncouth is the term I would apply to Sloane Stephens.

Polo Says:

Hahaha, Hippy Chic, watch out! We have grammar and spelling police here. Love it!

Hippy Chic Says:

Colin sorry villain,and i dont a speller checker sorry,i have to ask thogh does it matter as long as you get your point accross?

Hippy Chic Says:

Polo its not my strong forte obviously lol….

Polo Says:

Hahaha, again Hippy! Did you just call Colin a villain? Be careful with your punctuation marks, too.

Hippy Chic Says:

sorry should say dont have a spell checker….

Hippy Chic Says:

Polo lol punctuation isnt my strong forte either,is it spelt across or accross,its across i think,oh never mind im digging myself into a deeper hole here/hear,oh dear….

Polo Says:

Today looks like a washout at the French that’s why the grammar, spelling and punctuation police have time to forage this place for offenders. Hahaha!

Okiegal Says:

@Polo 9:55

Cute!! LOL I’m watching Screamapova and Garbine…..half way forgetting why and then it dawned on me…….RAIN…..yuck! There won’t be any tennis today, I fear. It’s 4:30pm in gay Paree! Maybe another day for my guy’s back…..but then two matches in a row for who does win…….not happy!!


Hippy Chic Says:

Polo lol maybe i should change my monikor to The Dizzy Hippy Chic that Cannot Spell….

Polo Says:

Hippy Chic, with a moniker like that, you run the risk of misspelling it each time you make an entry. Hahaha!

Anyway, I got a minor shock when I turned on the TV earlier and the news ticker at the bottom of the screen said, “Monfils defeated Murray in 5 sets”! I thought, “Wow, that was fast! It was raining only an hour earlier.” Then I found out they were just running the results of their previous meetings. Whew!

Okiegal Says:


How about this moniker: “Spell Chic”…..ya know, in honor of Spell Check and our resident grammar major, Colin?? LOL

Back to tennis……Halep has this match on her racquet……surely she will win and on to Rafa!!
ESPN will move back and forth between Andy and Rafa. I’m gonna knock my hubby off the computer and watch a Rafa w/o breaks!! Andy and Monfils will be a cracker, as you Brit say!

Hippy Chic Says:

Polo ha ha true,and about Andy i hope thats not an omen,i hope for some great tennis,and i hope i get to see a Rafa/Andy match up as its been a while since they met in a GS….

Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal well we will have a 1st time finalist on one side of the womens draw,im hoping Genie beats Maria on the other side,then a 1st time GS champion will be guaranteed<(hope i spelt that right?)

Hippy Chic Says:

^And Spell Chic ha ha good one^….

Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal i have Andy on Eurosport and Rafa on Eurosport 2,so i will have to keep on flicking from channel to channel,its annoying that both are on at the same time,is it chanel or channel?oh well station then lol….

Polo Says:

The games are on, throw proper grammar and spellling out of the window for now and cheer for your favorates.

Hippy Chic Says:

Polo already am dont worry…. Says:

The main question we discussed coming in was whether Rafa’s serve would be attackable. So far Ferrer is attacking, and attacking successfully. Rafa is playing on the defensive constantly. He’s actually playing great tennis just to stay in this.
And there’s the break…

The roles are a bit reversed. Right now Ferrer is outmuscling Rafa and pushing him around. Says:

Wow, great play from Rafa and some gifts from Ferrer to break back.

Polo Says:

Nice to see Murray finish off the first set rather easily. It looks like it is going to be a long match. This and Rafa’s too.

Okiegal Says:

Rafa in danger of losing first set……not good!

Nirmal Kumar Says:

Rafa just needs to get better by 10% to take control of the match. But what fantastic tennis played by Ferrer.

Ben Pronin Says:

Ferrer is just relentless right now, holy nuggets.

Monfils dropping the traditional 0-6 setting. Says:

Rafa’s play isn’t bad other than his serve. He’s constantly under pressure. Ferrer is really making him pay for being far back. Says:

Open season on servers.

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