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Djokovic one step closer to first French Open title

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Novak Djokovic remains on course for his first Roland Garros title as he battled past Andy Murray 6-3 6-3 5-7 5-7 6-1 to reach his third French Open final. The Serbian had to withstand a late fightback from the Scot in a match that needed two days to complete due to the thunderstorms yesterday, but it was the world number 1 who was far too strong in the end as he emerged victorious to keep his hopes of completing a career grand slam alive.

The contest was set to be a pulsating, physical encounter that had defined their rivalry in recent times, but it seemed that Djokovic was in no mood for a lengthily match as he took the first two sets and looked in control of the match, before Murray improved to edge the third set. The Scot’s momentum was halted at 3-3 in the fourth set when play was suspended due to the weather, so the semi-finalists were forced to come back today to decide who would face Stanislas Wawrinka for the title match.

As both players returned in the sunshine on Philippe Chatrier to resume their gripping match, Murray and Djokovic quickly settled into their rhythm on serve. However, as the rallies started to become gruelling and extended, Murray was able to just tough out the Serbian, and the Scot’s persistence paid off at 5-5. Djokovic was wary of the upper hand that Murray had when the rallies were long, and in a bid to shorten them, an attempted forehand up the line missed to give the Scot the crucial break. Murray successfully served out the set when another Djokovic groundstroke just drifted wide of the baseline, which meant that the contest would head into a fifth set.

In the decider, it was the world number 1 who elevated his level at the most crucial period, as he held serve in the opening game and grabbed the early break of serve when Murray donated a handful of unforced errors. As the Serb quickly reasserted his dominance in the final set, his impeccable length was just too much for the Scot as he suffered another break of serve. By this point, the match was over and Djokovic ran away with the set 6-1 to complete a remarkable victory that had so many momentum switches during the match.

So, Djokovic will now go on to face Stanislas Wawrinka in Sunday’s finale, as Murray will have to shift his focus towards the summer as he will begin his preparations for the grass court season. However, the Serbian will enter the title match as the favourite to lift his first Roland Garros trophy, and he will be hoping that it is third time lucky.


French Open 2015 Novak Djokovic

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