PARIS, June 3, 2016
The two top-favourites of the2016 French Open set up a clash in Sunday’s final at Roland Garros, as world number one Novak Djokovic eased past Dominic Thiem and second seed Andy Murray ousted Stan Wawrinka on another chilly overcast day in Paris.
The 29-year-old from Serbia never looked in any trouble against the Austrian youngster, breaking serve six times to celebrate a 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 victory.
“It was my best performance of the tournament. I was hoping after the long fourth round that I’m going to start playing better as the tournament progresses, and that’s what’s happening now. So I’m very pleased with the way things are going,” Djokovic was pleased with his game but also happy to face a young talent in the stage of the final four.
“It was an amazing atmosphere on the court Suzanne Lenglen. It was the first time I have played the semi-finals of Roland Garros on that court and I’m obviously very glad to win in three sets and against a player that was in-form and has played many tournaments, many matches this year. He carries himself very well on and off the court for his age. He’s a leader of a new generation, very powerful, and has a lot of strength and variety in his game. I managed to handle his heavy spin very well today, but I’m sure that, as I told him after the match, we’re going to see a lot of him in the future if he continues doing so well.”
Andy Murray has become the first British player to reach the final at Roland Garros since Bunny Austin in 1937. The world number two dismissed the reigning French Open champion Stan Wawrinka, hitting 25 winners and winning 121 of the total 215 points played to secure a 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 victory.
“There was a lot of pressure there today. I was just really happy with the way that I handled everything, and it was for sure one of the better matches that I have played on clay throughout my career. It was kind of difficult to say if it’s the best performance,” Murray told afterwards.
“The way that I played gives me more confidence. Sometimes you can play not a great match and win. But, today I played well and I think my game is in the right place now. Hopefully I can play another good one on Sunday.”
Murray and Djokovic will square off for the 34th time with the Serbian leading 23-10 in head to head records. In 2016 the pair will meet for the fourth time. Murray emerged victorious from the last encounter, claiming the title at the ATP Masters 1000 in Rome.
“It’s obviously a very big match for both of us. Novak is trying to win the career slam and it’s obviously a huge match for him. And me trying to win my first French Open, as well. Neither of us knows how many more chances we’ll have to win here. It took obviously Roger (Federer) a long time to win this one. And Novak, too. It’s a very tough event to win. There is a lot riding on the match for both of us,” Murray explained.
Djokovic also expects a tough fight on Sunday.
“We played two finals already on clay court tournaments in Madrid and Rome back to back. We split wins. He came back from a two-set deficit in the first round, and second round also winning in five sets. He’s a fighter. He has improved so much on the clay court over the years. This season is a great example of that,” the Belgrade native said.