World number one Novak Djokovic and world number three Andy Murray needed two days to complete their semifinal match at the French Open, after a storm postponed the contest in the fourth set on Friday night.
Upon returning, Murray would take the fourth set to force a deciding fifth, but was unable to muster anything up in the decider. Djokovic eventually outlasted his new rival 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 5-7, 6-1 to reach the French Open final.
“I don’t think I was lucky” said Djokovic. “I think I was playing some great tennis yesterday. He found his game late in the third. I had many opportunities to finish the match in straight sets, but credit to Andy. He showed why he’s one of the biggest competitors and fighters on the tour. A bit different conditions, with sun and then later in the evening it got a bit slower. He was using his variety in the game very well. It was a really tough match, over four hours all together, yesterday and today. No different from any other match that we played against each other. It’s always a thriller, always a marathon.”
This one indeed was a marathon. Murray seemed to take the momentum as he captured the third set before the match was suspended. When play picked up on Saturday, however, Djokovic seized control and dominated the fifth set.
He converted on two of three break point chances in the final frame. Taking advantage of seven unforced errors by Murray, he won more than half of the points on the Scot’s serve to cruise in the final set and survive the marathon.
The loss was the first on clay this year for Murray.
Djokovic will square off with eighth-seed Stan Wawrinka in Sunday’s final. He is 17-3 all-time against the Swiss.