Both Men’s Semi-Finals to be Played on Friday at French Open

I can’t say that I like what they did today when they decided to make Djokovic play four days in a row. I think that is completely unfair and unacceptable but it’s gotten to the point where nothing would surprise me about this tournament anymore.

They don’t even have lights for when it gets dark for Christ sake. What is this, the 17th century? But aside from the fact that Djokovic has to play four days in a row at a slam they went ahead and made him play on Lenglen.

This means Murray and Stan played their fourth rounds, quarter-finals, and semi-finals with rest days in between while Djokovic and Thiem play those rounds with no rest days in between at all. Anyone out there who thinks that is slightly unfair?

I’m starting to think there really is a conspiracy against Djokovic winning the French Open. Frist, it was the strange draws with Federer and Nadal and in the last couple of years, it’s been the schedule.

That said, I’m not complaining as a fan. All of this will only serve to strengthen Djokovic’s resolve. The more unfairly he gets treated, the more motivated he becomes. We saw what happened in the US Open final last year.

He won against all odds. So as a fan I’m not worried. In fact, they should throw in an abusive crowd too to make him even more motivated. Today he already won his match with Berdych 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 which means he will still be quite fresh tomorrow.

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And fortunately, he is playing against Thiem who has been just as poorly treated with the draw. So that part is at least fair. Thiem also needed four sets to defeat Goffin 4-6, 7-6(7), 6-4, 6-1 which means he was on the court slightly longer than Djokovic after they started at the same time.

After writing all this down I actually feel better about the draw but the French Open is still behind all the other slams and the least they could have done by now is to install lights. And what if Djokovic and Thiem went to five sets in their fourth rounds and quarterfinals?

That would have been grossly unfair compared to Murray and Stan. It already is. But at least Djokovic will have a rest day before the final if he wins. That and the fact that he defeated Berdych in straight sets are what matters now.

He will still be fresh. I don’t like the fact that they put him and Thiem on Lenglen again after they got screwed with the draw but it is what it is. I couldn’t watch the entire match today but I did watch most of it and I certainly can’t complain about Djokovic’s form.

There was another short rain delay but nothing too bad this time. Berdych is a dangerous player with no shortage of power and beating him in straight sets in a slam is always a good job. Djokovic now leads the head-to-head 24-2!

  • Thiem Makes His First Slam Semi-Final

As for Thiem, his match with Goffin was very interesting as well. It was always going to be a good matchup and it delivered. Thiem was a break up in the opening set and led 4-1 I think before dropping it 4-6.

The tiebreak was obviously pretty special where Goffin had set points to take a two sets to love lead which would most probably have given him the win, but Thiem was clutch and went on to win 10 of the last 11 games after trailing 2-4 in the third set.

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Again, I am really proud of Thiem for his performance in the French Open. That was his first slam quarterfinal and Goffin was a difficult opponent. He just keeps going from strength to strength and justifying my faith in him.

  • Semi-Finals Preview

But now he is coming up against one of the all-time greats who is as determined as ever to win this title. It’s funny because when Thiem defeated Federer in Rome a semi-final matchup between him and Djokovic at the French Open flashed into my mind.

I mean this guy is the real deal. He is a serious threat to the best of them but on this occasion, I think it is probably asking a bit much of him to defeat Djokovic. It is his first slam semi-final and he has already done incredibly well.

Compared to Djokovic he is still very inexperienced. I think it helps his case that they are playing on Lenglen because that’s where he played his last match and it will be less overwhelming than playing Djokovic on center court.

I mean the French are really trying hard to screw Djokovic but I think this time he has their number. We will see. Thiem can’t be underestimated because he has nothing to lose and can just go out there and go for broke basically.

He will already be delighted with his result and no one is expecting him to beat Djokovic. So yes he is dangerous and Djokovic will have to be very focused.

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As for Murray vs Stan, Murray leads the head-to-head 8-7 but it is 2-2 at slam level and 2-0 on clay for Stan. So it is obviously a close one but Stan may be the favorite on clay. I hope he wins anyway because I don’t like Murray whereas I do like Stan.

I also don’t want to see another Djokovic vs Murray slam final. Djokovic vs Stan is a much better match up and of course, Djokovic has some unfinished business from last year. On the other hand, Stan is more dangerous than Murray so I guess in the end I don’t really care who wins there.

One thing is for sure and that is that we have two very exciting semi-finals at the French tomorrow even though it is not under the circumstances one would hope for. Come to think of it, I think they used to play the women’s semis on Thursday and both men’s semis on Chatrier.

This is the reason they now have both men’s semis playing at the same time and on different courts. What a clusterfuck! Clearly, the most reasonable thing would have been to play the men’s semis on Saturday and the final on Monday.

But hey, at least it means fewer days without men’s tennis and it will make Djokovic even more determined to finally put the French Open to bed. So I can’t really complain.

Also, the fact that both men’s semi-finals are played at the same time makes it fairer in terms of rest time for the final!

  • Highlights

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4 Comments

  1. To put World number 1 on Lenglen and have him play 4 days in a row is absolutely insane and disrespectful. Very poor disicion by tournament organizers. However, you right Ru-an this will make Novak very motivated to win this tournament. The more you try to derail him the tougher he gets. It really appears that they are trying hard to stop Novak from wining RG.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    👍

    [Reply]

  2. I feel with the kind of draw that Djokovic’s had this year, it is his French open to lose. Despite the scheduling, he has not spent as much time on court as the other semi-finalists have and should be fresher of the finalists. Both the semi-finals are scheduled to start at the same time.

    My prediction for Novak is that he’ll win in straight sets. The occasion is too big, the stakes are so high that he is going to be dialed-in from the word go. Thiem- I love this guy’s game – but Novak is on another level at the moment.

    The other semi may turn out to be one for the ages and if it does then one can’t help feeling a little sad for the winner. Come Sunday and he’ll be too tired.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Good comment Siddharth. I have to say it would only be fair if Stan and Murray plays a brutal 5-setter while Djokovic has a straight-set win. That would at least even out Djoker’s unfair schedule to some extent.

    [Reply]

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