Stefanos Tsitsipas fended off a fightback from Alexander Zverev at the French Open to become the first Greek to reach a grand slam singles final.

The two men left standing from a wide-open bottom half of the draw delivered a fascinating encounter, which Tsitsipas appeared to be dominating after claiming the first two sets.

However, Zverev came from two sets down against Pablo Carreno Busta to reach the final of the US Open last year and threatened to repeat the feat by storming back to send this last-four clash to a decisive set.

Yet the levels Zverev reached across the third and fourth sets largely deserted him in the fifth and Tsitsipas took advantage to prevail 6-3 6-3 4-6 4-6 6-3 and set up a meeting with 13-time champion Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic in the final.

A poor start from Zverev gave Tsitsipas the early impetus as he broke for a 2-0 lead, thanks in part to a pair of double faults in the German's opening service game.

He consolidated for a 3-0 cushion and that edge was all Tsitsipas needed to take the opening set. The tide looked to be turning when Zverev surged 3-0 up in the second, only for Tsitsipas to rattle off the next six games and take command.

But Zverev did not let his advantage slip after an early break in the third and, if he needed any further fire to fuel a comeback, it came in the ninth game as he launched a tirade at the umpire after an incorrect call went Tsitsipas' way.

Zverev subsequently served out the third with little difficulty and maintained his momentum to strike in the opening game of the fourth set, the break of serve prompting a furious reaction from Tsitsipas this time.

No further breaks were required for Zverev to send the match to a fifth, which he did with an unreturned serve after an exquisite lob brought up two set points.

However, the fourth set had been an engrossing battle between the aggressiveness of Zverev and the superb defence and accuracy of Tsitsipas, and it was those traits that helped the latter get ahead in the decider.

Zverev ripped a backhand into the net to give Tsitsipas a 3-1 lead that he refused to relinquish, clinching victory on his fifth match point with a history-making ace out wide.

Barbora Krejcikova felt the guiding hand of Jana Novotna influence her stunning 7-5 4-6 9-7 Roland Garros victory over Maria Sakkari as the former doubles expert reached a first singles grand slam final.

Five times a slam winner in doubles, in which she is a former world number one, Krejcikova has diverted a large part of her focus to singles.

Novotna – the former Wimbledon champion and two-time French Open semi-finalist – helped to coach and mentor Krejcikova in the early stages of her professional career.

The death of Novotna from cancer in 2017 hit Krejcikova and many others in tennis hard, yet the rookie finalist continues to feel her fellow Czech is watching out for her.

"When I'm on court, I only think about tennis. I don't really think about anything else. So I was just thinking about tennis," Krejcikova said.

"I was just thinking about next ball, thinking where she's going to serve, where I should serve, what shot should I play, where should I place the ball.

"I don't really think about the things from outside. It's something actually she taught me. I just try to do that.

"Like every time before the match or after the match I just feel like she's there, she's looking after me."

Sakkari had a match point when 5-3 ahead in the third set against Krejcikova but the 17th seed went on to lose in Thursday's chaotic battle.

When that big chance came her way, the Greek player floated a short backhand that Krejcikova smashed away with a nerveless drive volley.

"I have to be deadly honest: I got stressed," Sakkari said. "I was starting thinking that I'm a point away from being in the final. I guess it's a rookie mistake."

There was a reprieve late in the decider for Sakkari when a shot of hers landed out and was signalled as being out, but the chair umpire overruled, incorrectly. That was on a match point for Krejcikova, who had to rein back her excitement and play another point.

"At that moment I was just like, 'Well, it's out, but what can you do?'," Krejcikova said.

On Saturday, Krejcikova faces the biggest match of her life, against fellow pre-tournament long shot, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

The world number 32 and 33 will meet in the biggest women's match of the clay-court season, an outcome nobody expected.

Krejcikova won her first career singles title in the lead-up to this fortnight, triumphing impressively in Strasbourg.

She has a French Open title already in her back pocket, having landed the women's doubles with Katerina Siniakova in 2018.

There could yet be a twin title success for Krejcikova this weekend, as the 25-year-old and Siniakova have a doubles semi-final ahead of them on Friday.

"I always wanted to play tournaments like this, big tournaments, big opponents, last rounds," Krejcikova said, speaking of her new-found singles prowess.

"It was just taking so long. It just took me some time, but I think right now it's actually the right moment. Especially mentally, I think I'm just there.

"I really matured. I just really appreciate things a lot, especially after what I've gone through, also with this pandemic and everything."

Barbora Krejcikova reached her first grand slam final as she beat Maria Sakkari in a chaotic and error-strewn French Open last-four battle.

Sakkari, who defeated defending champion Iga Swiatek in the quarters, could not capitalise on a match point as she missed out on becoming the first Greek woman to reach the final of a tennis major.

World number 33 Krejcikova, a title winner in Strasbourg before this remarkable Roland Garros run, overcame her own inconsistency to edge through 7-5 4-6 9-7 in three hours and 18 minutes.

The 25-year-old will face another maiden major finalist in the form of Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who defeated Tamara Zidansek in much more routine fashion earlier.

"I always wanted to play a match like this," Krejcikova said of her semi-final win. "Such a challenging match, both had chances, both playing so well, but only one can win. Even if I'd lost today, I'd have been very proud of myself. Fighting is the most important thing."

Krejcikova certainly did have to battle hard, coming back from two breaks down to clinch an enthralling opening set which would set the tone for what was to follow.

Sakkari responded in fierce fashion, and seemed destined to claim a second-set bagel at 4-0 up, yet Krejcikova had other ideas, and three games later she was a break away from restoring parity.

The break did not come, however, with Sakkari holding to love. The Greek's first set point was wasted with a dreadful forehand effort, but she set up a decider at the third time of asking, leaping across the court in celebration, much to the delight of a partisan crowd.

Krejcikova made her opponent wait with a lengthy stoppage between the sets, and Sakkari's momentum appeared to have been dashed as the Czech held to race into a lead.

But Sakkari's composure returned – she dropped a deft touch shot over the net to hold, before capitalising on Krejcikova's sloppiness to make it 3-1.

Krejcikova dragged herself back again, some sensational, down-the-line backhands frustrating Sakkari, who did nevertheless move to within a game of victory.

Once more, Krejcikova refused to roll over, and a dreadful drop shot handed her a reprieve.

Krejcikova took full advantage but saw three match points go begging as Sakkari took her turn to bounce back from the brink.

Victory looked to have been assured when Sakkari sent a forehand long, only for the chair umpire to incorrectly rule the shot as in, but in a remarkable show of resilience, Krejcikova fittingly hammered a backhand down the line to seal a hard-earned victory.

 

Data Slam: Sakkari's trips to the net prove her downfall

The Greek seemed reluctant all match to take steps towards the net, instead relying on some thunderous efforts from the baseline.

Perhaps her reluctance was justified, as she missed three presentable opportunities for points when she did charge forward, playing some woefully executed drop shots, finishing with five out of eight points at the net, as opposed to 13 from 17 for Krejcikova.

In total, both players clocked up over 50 unforced errors.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Krejcikova – 31/58
Sakkari – 27/53

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Krejcikova – 5/5
Sakkari – 2/3

BREAK POINTS WON

Krejcikova – 7/15
Sakkari – 6/11

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova conceded a younger version of herself would have been bemused by why it had taken so long to reach a grand slam final after she finally did so at the French Open on Thursday.

The 29-year-old turned her first major semi-final appearance into a maiden final berth with a 7-5 6-3 victory over Tamara Zidansek in Paris.

It will be Pavlyuchenkova's first outing in a grand slam final in what is her 52nd major, which establishes an Open Era record. She has become the first woman to play more than 50 majors before reaching a final.

Asked what her 14-year-old self would have said if she had known the wait would be so long, the Russian replied: "Fourteen-year-old me would tell me, like, what took you so long?

"It's tough to really talk about it right now. I don't know. It's been a long road. I had my own long special road. Everybody has different ways. I'm just happy I'm in the final.

"This is something I've been thinking about every single time. I think as tennis players, that's the only goal I think we have in the head. That's why we are playing tennis.

"That's for us the biggest achievement you can get. That's what you are playing for, of course. I think about it all the time.

"I've been thinking about it since I was a junior, since I was a little kid, since I started playing tennis. It's been there in my head forever."

Pavlyuchenkova had six quarter-final singles losses to her name in slams before this tournament, a record that suggested a career of near-misses might be on the cards.

Curiously, she has also reached six doubles quarter-finals in the majors and also failed to win through any of those.

She now has a chance to end her long wait for a major title this weekend at Roland Garros, but admits she has had worries along the way.

"I had a lot of doubts. I could beat top-10 players and make the quarter-final of a major. I was very close to semi-finals a couple of times, but then it wouldn't happen," she said.

"It was just up and down in terms of results. But I feel like I'm there, I can beat those players, but the consistency is off, something is always off.

"Those little puzzles were not coming together every time. I guess maybe I had a lot of expectations that I couldn't deal with over the years. It's been a lot of different things."

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova turned her first grand slam semi-final appearance into a ticket to the final thanks to a 7-5 6-3 victory over Tamara Zidansek at the French Open.

The Russian had already broken new ground by ending a run of six consecutive quarter-final losses in slams, with the 29-year-old now set to face Barbora Krejcikova or Maria Sakkari in the showpiece.

She certainly did not have it all her own way against surprise package Zidansek – another slam semi-final debutant – on Court Philippe Chatrier, having been broken in the opening game to suggest perhaps a hint of nerves.

But Pavlyuchenkova, who at 29 is six years older than her opponent, drew on all her experience to finish the job in straight sets and remain on course for a career-defining success in Paris.

A hold to love in game three of the first set seemed to put Pavlyuchenkova at ease as she began to find her range, which showed as the number 31 seed became increasingly aggressive in her approach.

The path to a one-set lead was still dotted with stumbles as there were five breaks of serve between the players, the last of which sealed it at 7-5 in Pavlyuchenkova's favour.

At 4-1 up in the second set she appeared to be coasting, before losing six points and two games on the bounce.

But again Pavlyuchenkova dug deep to find another level and finally send her Slovenian rival packing.

Data Slam: Second serves stifle Zidansek

In a match where both players looked vulnerable on serve at times, the disparity in points won on second serve proved telling.

While Pavlyuchenkova showed cunning and variety to mix things up, winning 54 per cent of the points on her second serve, Zidansek could only manage 38 per cent and was broken six times.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Pavlyuchenkova – 19/22
Zidansek – 27/33

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Pavlyuchenkova – 3/3
Zidansek – 1/3

BREAK POINTS WON

Pavlyuchenkova– 6/10
Zidansek – 4/11

Novak Djokovic did not try to play it cool after setting up a dream Roland Garros showdown with Rafael Nadal. 

The world number one defeated Matteo Berrettini 6-3 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 Wednesday to secure a semi-final match-up with the 13-time French Open champion. 

Djokovic admitted his meetings with Nadal are "not like any other match" and said he expects a "great battle" Friday when the pair meet for the 58th time. 

"Let's face it, it's the biggest challenge that you can have playing on clay against Nadal on this court in which he has had so much success in his career," Djokovic told a press conference. "In the final stages of a grand slam, it doesn't get bigger than that.

"Of course, each time we face each other, there's that extra tension and expectations. Just vibes are different walking on the court with him.

"But that's why our rivalry has been historic I think for this sport. I've been privileged to play him so many times."

Djokovic holds a narrow edge against the man he called his biggest rival, with 29 victories to Nadal's 28, but the Spaniard has won the last two meetings -- including a straight-sets triumph in the French Open final last year. 

"Obviously different conditions are going to be played on Friday than it was the case in finals of last year, so I'm hopefully going to be able to also perform at the high level than I have, especially in the first two sets in the last year's final.

"The quality and the level of tennis that I've been playing in the last three, four weeks on clay -- Rome, Belgrade and here -- is giving me good sensations and feelings ahead of that match.

"I'm confident. I believe I can win, otherwise I wouldn't be here. Let's have a great battle."

Djokovic had to battle Wednesday to defeat the ninth-seeded Italian, letting loose a primal scream when he finally put the match away in the fourth set. 

The Serbian said the crowd was Davis Cup-like before fans were ushered out due to the local curfew. 

"The crowd lifted him up. He was playing some really powerful tennis," Djokovic said. 

"Especially in the third and fourth he served tremendously strong and precise. It was just very difficult to read his serve and play someone like him.

"He's very talented. He can play well from the back of the court. He's got a lethal forehand, dropshots. ... When he's on, it's tough to play him."

Novak Djokovic will face Rafael Nadal in the semi-final of the French Open after defeating Matteo Berrettini in four sets.

The 18-time grand slam champion, who has only one title to his name at Roland Garros, was somewhere close to his imperious best on Court Philippe Chatrier as world number nine Berrettini's run was halted in a 6-3 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 loss.

This is as far as the Italian has got in Paris but Djokovic was determined to let him go no further, the world number one having suffered a scare in the last round as he fell two sets behind to Lorenzo Musetti before Berrettini's compatriot retired hurt.

Djokovic's peerless returning ability was on full display, and will have to be again against the 'King of Clay' Nadal, as he negotiated a tricky test with relatively little fuss.

The Serbian showed laser-like precision off both wings, affording Berrettini precious few opportunities to apply any pressure at all across the first two sets. 

Seeking to become only the second Italian player to defeat the French Open's number one seed after Adriano Panatta did so against Bjorn Borg in 1976, Berrettini could not find the answers to Djokovic's constant probing.

Like Djokovic, Berrettini was handed a walkover in the previous round after Roger Federer withdrew, although he did not have to even take to the court.

The third set offered some small hint that it may have given Berrettini an advantage in terms of freshness as he came through a hard-fought tie-break, fists pumping as he forced the contest late into the Parisian night, meaning the fans in attendance would not be able to see the match to its conclusion.

But a Djokovic break late into an hour-long fourth handed him the victory, prompting passionate, wide-eyed celebrations from the Serbian in the direction of his coaching team.

Data Slam: Djokovic can't be faulted

Opponents looking for any kind of weakness in Djokovic's game might feel some glimmer of hope when they get a look at his second serve. And then that second serve comes and the 34-year-old's variety leaves them befuddled. Djokovic won 65 per cent of the points on his second serve, proving that even when it appeared to door may have been ajar for Berrettini, it was quickly slammed shut.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Djokovic – 44/19
Berrettini – 55/51

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Djokovic – 10/1
Berrettini – 11/3

BREAK POINTS WON

Djokovic – 4/9
Berrettini – 0/3

Iga Swiatek blamed a gruelling recent schedule after her French Open defence ended in a shock quarter-final defeat to Maria Sakkari.

The Pole came into Wednesday's last eight match having won her last 22 sets at Roland Garros, but lost 6-4 6-4 to the competition's 17th seed.

Swiatek headed to Paris full of confidence after winning on clay in Rome two weeks prior, and she had also helped Bethanie Mattek-Sands into the semi-finals of this year's doubles.

However, the world number nine believes she may have paid the price for all that tennis in the form of a lacklustre display against Sakkari.

She said: "Well, obviously I didn't play my best tennis. That's for sure. But Maria did a good job with playing at my forehand, which wasn't working pretty well today.

"It's good for her that she saw that. She picked good tactics, for sure. I struggled with picking the right place where to play. I couldn't play some shots that usually give me points.

"Yeah, my balls weren't, like, really deep and heavy. Basically that's my biggest weapon, so it was really hard to play without that.

"Also, you know, I think, like, past couple weeks hit me kind of yesterday. I just didn't have good days, I couldn't do like physical recovery well because I was stressed. Days like that happen, and it's normal."

Swiatek left the court for treatment on her thigh after losing the first set, but she refused to blame that issue for her defeat.

She added: "Right now I know it's nothing serious. When I was on court, I felt it totally differently. As I said, I couldn't even sleep well yesterday. I slept like a few hours.

"I think I was feeling everything twice as much as I should. It was hard to rationally just see what's going on. I made the decision to tape it just to feel sure [to give] me, like, a little bit more confidence when I was moving.

"Still my reaction was bad. I didn't play well, like, tactically and also technically. I was on my heels, so it's hard to make something of that kind of game."

Sakkari, meanwhile, revealed that her commitment to simply enjoying Wednesday's match helped her secure a maiden Grand Slam semi-final berth.

She said: "I'm speechless - it is a dream come true. It is a very nice feeling, I couldn't have done it without my team and their support so I want to thank them.

"We still have a long way to go of course [if we want to win the tournament] but we made a huge step.

"I'm not going to tell you the game plan of course because we will play again [against Swiatek] for sure! So I'm not gonna say our little secrets!

"But I really enjoyed it. Before coming into the match I just sat down and spoke to myself and said it is a very important match but just enjoy it - playing at one of the best stadiums in the world. So I have enjoyed it."

Greece boasts two semi-finalists in this year's French Open after Stefanos Tsitsipas also progressed to the last four of the men's draw.

And Sakkari believes the sport may even have overtaken football and basketball in terms of popularity back in her homeland.

She continued: "Now it's probably the biggest sport these days. Football is over. Basketball is over. So tennis is in the spotlight.

"Yeah, with Stefanos, I mean, we're very close. We know each other since a very young age. I mean, I see him every day here. We're actually having dinner with our teams next to each other every night.

"I'm very, very happy for him and his family. It's very exciting times for Greek tennis."

Rafael Nadal remains on course for a record-extending 14th French Open title after overcoming Diego Schwartzman in an intense quarter-final on Wednesday.

Schwartzman ended Nadal's run of 36 consecutive sets won at Roland Garros to level up the contest at one set apiece, but the Spaniard's quality told in the end.

The third seed held serve throughout a tense third set and eased through the fourth to take the match 6-3 4-6 6-4 6-0 in two hours and 45 minutes in front of 5,000 spectators.

Nadal, who won nine games in a row to see out the contest, will now face either Novak Djokovic or Matteo Berrettini for a place in the final.

Like Nadal, Schwartzman had not dropped a set at this year's tournament heading into this showdown, but the Argentinian was broken in the sixth and eighth games of the first to fall behind.

However, Schwartzman played some sublime and attacking tennis to instantly hit back by twice breaking Nadal in the second set.

In doing so, he became just the third player to win a set in more than one match against Nadal at Roland Garros after Djokovic and Roger Federer.

A tight third set followed, with both players holding until the ninth game when Nadal took the second of his break points with a slice-lob combo.

That proved to be a turning point in the match as Nadal claimed the following game to wrap up the set and dominated a swift fourth set to book his place in a 14th semi-final.

Coco Gauff believes her French Open quarter-final woe against Barbora Krejcikova will ultimately help her to become a major champion.

The 17-year-old was playing in the last eight of a grand slam for the first time on Wednesday, though the occasion did not go as she hoped.

Unseeded Krejcikova won 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 in a back-and-forth battle in which Gauff had her opportunities.

She led 3-0 and 5-3 in the first set as five set points passed her by and at one stage lost seven straight games.

The American, who had 41 unforced errors, trailed 5-0 in the second set before briefly threatening a comeback in a fighting finish and believes the experience will prove to be beneficial.

"Yeah, I mean, I'm obviously disappointed that I wasn't able to close out the first set," said Gauff. "To be honest, it's in the past, it already happened. 

"After the match my hitting partner told me this match will probably make me a champion in the future. I really do believe that.

"I never want to give up. I really did fight till the last point. 

"I'm proud that I didn't give up because I could have easily gave up at 5-0 or 5-1 [down in the second set]. 

"I think losing these matches are going to pay off in the future. If I continue fighting like this, other players, maybe if they do have the lead, will start to get nervous because they know I'm not going to give in.

"Obviously it was a great season. I just want to keep continuing to get better. Hopefully next year I'll be better. 

"But I think that I've learned a lot over this swing and I have a lot that I can take with me later into my next tournaments later this year."

Gauff, who confirmed she still planned to play in the Olympics this year, reflected on what had gone wrong against Krejcikova, who will face Maria Sakkari in the semis.

The teenager added: "I feel like the set points I did have I did play a little bit passive. That's not kind of how I want to play tennis. I always want to play first-strike tennis. So that's something I'll work on.

"I mean, for me the biggest thing she played well in the pressure points. She also redirected the ball really, really well, kind of making me make mistakes. 

"I knew she was going to play very smart tennis and play the high-percentage plays. That's what she did.

"Next time going into it, I'm definitely going to focus more making less errors, just trusting myself on the set points." 

A return to Wimbledon, where she stunned the world to reach the fourth round as a 15-year-old in 2019, is now fast approaching for Gauff.

She added: "I'm excited to go back, for sure. My most memorable thing from Wimbledon is just the crowd experience. 

"That was like one of my first matches on a big stadium like that, playing against really great people like Venus Williams. 

"It kind of just was the start of, like, my career, I guess, and making it on the pro tour. So, yeah, I'm excited to go back.

"I'm just happy that right now I'm healthy and everything. Hopefully that keeps up all the way through Wimbledon."

Iga Swiatek saw the defence of her French Open title ended by a rampant Maria Sakkari in Paris.

Number 17 seed Sakkari was playing in her first grand slam quarter-final but showed no signs of nerves as she closed out a 6-4 6-4 victory against last year's champion in one hour and 35 minutes.

Sakkari will play unseeded Barbora Krejcikova in what will be a first major semi-final appearance for both players.

It was a scrappy start to the contest with both players struggling to establish a rhythm on serve.

Early breaks were exchanged before Sakkari had to save four break points in her next game to avoid another and Swiatek then fended off three in the next.

Sakkari looked a different player from then on as she seized control. At 4-4, a powerful forehand winner gave her two break points and she claimed the first of them.

After a first opportunity to move ahead was not taken as she served for the set, two big serves saved a break point and gave her another chance that was taken with a fine backhand, prompting huge emotion from the Greek.

Sakkari had the momentum and went 2-0 up in the second set, at which point Swiatek called for a medical timeout that resulted in a 10-minute delay.

After emerging with strapping on her right thigh, Swiatek looked more confident on her return, holding confidently before saving two break points in her next service game to remain in contention.

But Sakkari was undeterred, serving superbly and not allowing a single break-point opportunity in the second set, clinching a famous triumph that brought tears to her eyes with her third match point.

Data Slam: Swiatek streak ends

Having not dropped a set in any round of her successful campaign last year or in her four victories in 2021, Swiatek saw her streak of winning 22 consecutive sets in Paris abruptly halted. 

Still just 20, Swiatek will have many more opportunities but this result will have come as a shock to the system.

 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Sakkari – 26/24
Swiatek – 17/25

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Sakkari – 5/2
Swiatek – 0/2

BREAK POINTS WON
Sakkari – 3/8
Swiatek – 1/6

Coco Gauff saw her hopes of French Open glory in 2021 come to an end as she lost in straight sets to unseeded Barbora Krejcikova in the quarter-finals.

Krejcikova won 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 in a back-and-forth battle lasting one hour and 50 minutes.

Both players were appearing in the last eight of a grand slam for the first time, with 17-year-old Gauff having not dropped a set in reaching this stage.

She had the advantage for much of the first set but fell apart towards the end and then allowed Krejcikova to build a huge second-set lead that was too big to claw back.

World number 33 Krejcikova will play either defending champion Iga Swiatek or Maria Sakkari in the last four, as Gauff paid the price for making 41 unforced errors.

Gauff, seeded 24, led 3-0 and 5-3 in the opening set but was pegged back on both occasions.

One set point had already been lost before she failed to convert two more in a pivotal game lasting over seven minutes at 6-5 as her Czech opponent somehow held on to force a tie-break.

There were nerves on both sides of the court in the breaker until Gauff forged ahead at 6-4, but her fourth and fifth set points were both scuppered by fine forehand winners from Krejcikova.

Krejcikova continued her run and reeled off four straight points to move ahead, converting her first set point with another winner.

Gauff suddenly lost all momentum and Krejcikova quickly built a huge advantage, the teenager destroying her racket when she fell 4-0 down.

The American, to her credit, then showed some fight from 5-0 behind, winning three straight games and saving five match points in that sequence.

But Krejcikova kept a cool head and made no mistake with her sixth chance to seal the match, raising both arms after a famous victory that could launch her career.
 

Data Slam: Gauff falls apart

After having the better of much of the first set, Gauff struggled hugely in the middle of the match, losing seven straight games from 6-5 up in the first set to find herself 7-6 5-0 down in the second. 

In the second set, Gauff only had five winners to 18 unforced errors and won only 10 of 21 first-serve points as frustration got the better of the youngster, meaning Krejcikova, who had fought so hard to claim the opener, did not have to produce any fireworks to get over the line.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Gauff – 25/41
Krejcikova – 27/28

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Gauff – 4/7
Krejcikova – 5/8

BREAK POINTS WON

Gauff – 3/10
Krejcikova – 4/6

Daniil Medvedev was not impressed by the empty stands at Court Philippe-Chatrier as he bowed out of the French Open to Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Medvedev, who had never previously won a match in the main draw at Roland Garros, advanced to the quarter-finals to meet old foe Tsitsipas on Tuesday.

But the 21:00 curfew in Paris meant the match, which started at the same time, was played without a crowd in the French capital.

Tsitsipas won 6-3 7-6 (7-3) 7-5, but second seed Medvedev was keen to highlight the importance of supporters as he questioned the tournament's motives.

Recapping a scene from Netflix documentary 'Formula 1: Drive to Survive', Medvedev said: "When the pandemic started, they were in Australia ready to race, and they asked Lewis Hamilton what he thought about racing in the conditions the world was in.

"He said: 'I don't know what we are doing here.' And so they asked him: 'Why do you think they make you race?' And he said: 'Cash is king.'

"It was the same here. Our match was definitely the match of the day, so Roland Garros preferred Amazon to people. It's easy as that.

"Actually I want to say that I think it's good when you have sponsors and everything because that's how we tennis players can make money, but actually we have more people this year in Roland Garros, we have Amazon, I don't know if they had it last year, and we get 15 per cent less prize money.

"So the question is: where is the Amazon money?"

It was Medvedev's latest complaint, having had issues with noise elsewhere in the stadium and the camera angle on the big screen during his straight-sets defeat.

But the rest of the post-match media duties largely focused on the end of the contest as an awful underarm serve from the Russian handed fifth seed Tsitsipas victory.

Medvedev described the move as "tactical", but Tsitsipas said: "[It was] a very millennial shot, so true.

"Once he took a short break, I saw he kind of stopped. I felt like there was something coming up, so at that point I think I got prepared for it."

The pair have argued in the past, notably at the Miami Open in 2018 – one of six Medvedev wins in seven meetings prior to this match.

"In other sports, we can see these rivalries where people actually just to heat it up," the world number two said on Tuesday.

"Maybe sometimes they don't even hate each other but they try to say some things to each other during the match or things like that.

"But tennis is not like this, so I don't think it's ever going to be between me and him again any sort of fight or anything.

"I find it maybe a pity because it could be much funnier."

Daniil Medvedev's wait for a first major title will not end in Paris this month after he lost his French Open quarter-final to Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets.

The Russian has previously lost in the final at Flushing Meadows and Melbourne but had never been past the opening round at Roland Garros prior to this run.

Four largely routine victories encouraged hopes of a triumph that would make Medvedev the world number one for the first time until he faced Tsitsipas, who had won only one of their prior seven meetings.

A second Tsitsipas success followed in striking fashion, the number two seed toppled 6-3 7-6 (7-3) 7-5. Alexander Zverev awaits Tsitsipas in the last four.

Tsitsipas was on the front foot from the outset and did not have to wait long for his first break and a 3-1 lead, one he could have extended further before serving out the opener in dominant fashion.

And a brutal break to love early in the second, with Medvedev struggling to keep up, further fastened the Greek's grip on the match.

But the sixth game belatedly brought some resistance that prompted Tsitsipas to send a wild forehand long, granting Medvedev momentum for the first time as he then stylishly held.

That progress seemed to slow with a change of ends and an apparent complaint about off-court noise in a supposedly empty stadium, yet Medvedev dug in again and then forged two break points, only to squander both.

And Tsitsipas' ability to outmanoeuvre his opponent came to the fore again in a one-sided tie-break.

A change of shirt did not alter Medvedev's fortunes for the better, as he worked hard to craft a break in the third but then immediately ceded his advantage.

Another distraction – this time the camera angle on the big screen – prompted a debate with the umpire, but Medvedev was by that stage serving to stay in the tournament and merely delayed the inevitable, confirmed when Tsitsipas blasted an awful underarm serve back past his forehand.


Data Slam: Medvedev plays the blame game

"If I lose, it's your fault," Medvedev told a bemused official after appearing to prove his point regarding the overhead screen. The Russian was 6-3 7-6 (7-3) 5-4 down and had long since hampered his own hopes.

Although there were fine margins in the second and third sets, that was enough to see Tsitsipas through after dominating an opener in which Medvedev won only four points against the serve, failing to forge a single break point.


WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Tsitsipas – 33/24
Medvedev – 31/44

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Tsitsipas – 3/1
Medvedev – 5/0

BREAK POINTS WON

Tsitsipas – 4/7
Medvedev – 2/8

Alexander Zverev finally advanced to the semi-finals of the French Open with a comfortable 6-4 6-1 6-1 win over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina on Tuesday.

The sixth seed was playing in the last eight at Roland Garros for the third time in four seasons but had twice previously fallen at this stage.

Some inconsistent early serving aside, another slip-up never appeared likely as Zverev secured swift progress on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Next is the winner of Daniil Medvedev versus Stefanos Tsitsipas, the other quarter-final in the bottom half of the draw that should prove rather more testing for the victor.

A peculiar first set saw only four games stay on serve as both players showed signs of frustration, first with Zverev offering an incredulous response to a tight but correct line call that allowed his opponent to hold.

Zverev's anger was short-lived, though, as error-strewn serving on both sides of the net ensured regular opportunities.

Davidovich Fokina inadvertently threw his racket into the stands after sending a deep forehand wide and another poor shot into the net sealed the opener for Zverev, who seized on the Spaniard's sloppy play once more to lead early in the second.

This was not an advantage he would cede, racing through the set in only 26 minutes as a tiring Davidovich Fokina won a meagre 11 points.

The struggling underdog saved two break points at the start of the third but then went long to tee up another opportunity that was duly taken, quickly bringing the finish line into view for Zverev.

Indeed, just 21 minutes were required this time to see out the match as Zverev's power made light work of the 22-year-old with two more ruthless breaks.


Data Slam: Second serves sting Spaniard

Neither player served well in the first set, but Zverev crucially managed to win 44 per cent of points on second serve. That modest return gave him the edge over Davidovich Fokina's 26 per cent, even as the Spaniard had two double-faults to his opponent's three.

Once Zverev had the lead, this was an uphill task for Davidovich Fokina, who had run a marathon to reach this stage, notably outlasting Casper Ruud over four hours and 35 minutes.
 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Zverev – 24/16
Davidovich Fokina – 16/37

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Zverev – 3/3
Davidovich Fokina – 0/3

BREAK POINTS WON

Zverev – 9/15
Davidovich Fokina – 3/6

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.