Paris, Oct 7 (efe-epa).- Novak Djokovic overcame a poor start to defeat Pablo Carreño Busta 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 in three hours and 10 minutes here Wednesday to land a spot in the French Open semifinals for the 10th time.
The world No. 1 struggled through the first set in obvious distress and requested attention from the trainer during the changeover.
Carreño came into the quarterfinal with the distinction of being the only person to win a match this season against Djokovic. The Spaniard was the opponent a month ago in a round of 16 match at the US Open when the Serb was disqualified for inadvertently hitting a line judge with a ball.
Making the most of that opportunity, Carreño went on to reach the semis at Flushing Meadows before falling to Alexander Zverev in five sets.
But Djokovic battled back furiously on Wednesday to take the next three sets, though Carreño made him work for every point.
The next obstacle on the Serbian’s path to a second French Open title will be a clash with fifth-seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who advanced to semifinals at Roland Garros for the first time with a 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 victory earlier Wednesday against Andrei Rublev.
The 22-year-old Greek had lost his last three matches with the 13th-seeded Russian, including the German Open final on Sept. 27.
But after falling behind 3-5 in the first set, Tsitsipas came roaring back to win 16 of the next 21 games to dispatch world No. 12 Rublev in just under two hours.
Tsitsipas, currently fifth in the world, has reached the final four of a Grand Slam tournament on one previous occasion, the 2019 Australian Open, where he lost in the semis to Rafael Nadal.
Already the highest-ranked Greek player in history, Tsitsipas has the chance to become the first competitor from his country to reach a Grand Slam final.
Nadal, holder of a record 12 French Open titles, is to face Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman in the other semi.
On the women’s side, Petra Kvitova needed less than 90 minutes to beat Laura Siegemund 6-3, 6-3 in their quarterfinal and secure a berth in the French Open final four for the first time since 2012.
Yet to lose a set in the tournament, the Czech two-time Wimbledon champion made quick work of the 32-year-old German, who was plagued by a bad back.
Siegemund, now 66th in the world, has been one of the surprises of the 2020 French Open, but never posed a serious threat to world No. 11 Kvitova, 30, who continues her remarkable comeback since being injured by a burglar in a knife attack in late 2016.
The next test for the 30-year-old will be Sofia Kenin, who bested fellow US player Danielle Collins 6-4, 4-6, 6-0.
Kenin, the reigning Australian Open champion, took the first set against an opponent who required medical attention and looked well on her way to winning the second before Collins earned a break and brought the match level.
But the 21-year-old world No. 4 stormed to a 6-0 triumph in the third to book her spot in the semis. Collins, 26, had won all three of her previous encounters with the Moscow native.
Iga Swiatek will face Nadia Podoroska in the other women’s semifinal. EFE