Murray and Djokovic to resume fight


Published: Saturday 6th June 2015 by The News Editor

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Andy Murray will resume his French Open fightback on Saturday as the Scot bids to continue his semi-final resurgence from two sets down against world number one Novak Djokovic.

Murray looked on course for a humbling defeat when Djokovic raced into a two-set lead but the Scot clawed back the third before play was suspended for bad light and imminent rain at 3-6 3-6 7-5 3-3.

Djokovic has beaten Murray in each of their last seven meetings but the Briton produced some scintillating tennis late on and was arguably in the ascendancy when the umpire called time.

Neither player will welcome the extension given the additional rest Stan Wawrinka now takes into the final, but Djokovic will be at least be grateful for the chance to take stock.

Murray’s comeback sparked into life at 5-5 in the third when the world number three chased down first a drop-shot and then a lob, before slapping a passing shot past Djokovic for a sensational winner.

The point gave Murray momentum to take both the third set and an early break in the fourth, but Djokovic hit back immediately to restore parity, with the Serb now serving at 3-3 on Saturday.

The contest’s conclusion will take place before the women’s final, which sees top seed Serena Williams take on Czech Lucie Safarova.

Williams is fighting to overcome an illness that threatens to derail her bid to win a 20th grand slam title and a third at Roland Garros.

The American is suffering severe symptoms of flu, which also hampered her during her semi-final victory over Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky and forced her to skip post-match media duties to see the tournament doctor.

There is no suggestion Williams will not play in the final but she neither practised nor showed up for a press conference on Friday, instead sending a statement from her Paris apartment.

“I started to feel unwell around the third or fourth round and I felt really terrible during the semis against Timea,” Williams said.

“I’m actually not sure how I got through the match and when it was over I just kind of collapsed. I couldn’t move.

“I saw the tournament doctor on site and since I came home I’ve been resting – I just could not practice today.

“I think I have some kind of flu which makes it tough, because it’s just a matter of resting and keeping hydrated – there’s not much else I can do.”

Williams has overcome injury and illness before and Safarova will be aware the top seed claimed 10 games in a row while under the weather to beat Bacsinszky on Thursday.

She has also come from behind four times this tournament to win in three sets, a personal record for the 19-time champion at a grand slam.

Safarova will be determined to keep focus, in spite of Williams’ discomfort, as she prepares for a first grand slam final of her career.

“It’s my 12th year on the tour and to reach this finally, you appreciate it much more, I think,” Safarova said.

The world number 13 has enjoyed a remarkable run at Roland Garros, knocking out defending champion Maria Sharapova in the last 16 before beating seventh seed Ana Ivanovic in the semi-final on Thursday.

Published: Saturday 6th June 2015 by The News Editor

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