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Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, with 36 Grand Slam titles between them, are each simply two wins away from creating extra tennis historical past at Roland Garros however standing in the best way in Friday’s semi-finals are Stefanos Tsitsipas and Diego Schwartzman. Tsitsipas is the primary Greek participant to achieve the final 4 in Paris whereas the diminutive Argentine has put sport in perspective this week along with his shifting story of how his great-grandfather survived the Holocaust.

Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) v Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE x5)

Head-to-head: Djokovic leads 3-2

— Djokovic is chasing a second Roland Garros title and 18th Grand Slam to develop into the primary man in half a century to win all 4 majors twice. It’s such a uncommon achievement that solely Don Budge and Rod Laver have managed it within the historical past of the game.

The world primary has 4 titles in 2020, carved out from 36 wins and only one loss – his now notorious default on the US Open.

However, is the strain starting to inform? He dropped his first set of the event in his win over Pablo Carreno Busta within the quarter-finals and required remedy on his neck and shoulders.

“I had some neck and shoulder issues. I don’t really want to get too much into it. I’m feeling okay,” mentioned the 33-year-old who was champion in Paris in 2016.

Djokovic is bidding to make the ultimate for the fifth time and a 27th on the Slams.

Tsitsipas, 22 and enjoying in his second semi-final on the majors having additionally reached the final 4 on the 2019 Australian Open, has bought stronger because the event has progressed.

After dropping the primary two units of his opener towards Jaume Munar, he has swept the subsequent 15.

Tsitsipas is bidding to develop into the youngest man to achieve the Roland Garros ultimate since 2008, when Nadal gained the title and youngest to achieve a Grand Slam championship match because the 2009 US Open, when Juan Martin del Potro gained the title, 10 days wanting his 21st birthday.

The Greek has solely met Djokovic as soon as on clay, a straight units loss within the 2019 Madrid ultimate.

“An opponent is an opponent. Doesn’t matter if he is injured or not,” mentioned Tsitsipas of Djokovic.

Paths to the semi-finals (x denotes seeded participant)

Djokovic

1st rd: bt Mikael Ymer (SWE) 6-0, 6-2, 6-3

2nd rd: bt Ricardas Berankis (LTU) 6-1, 6-2, 6-2

third rd: bt Daniel Galan (COL) 6-0, 6-3, 6-2

4th rd: bt Karen Khachanov (RUS x15) 6-4, 6-3, 6-3

QF: bt Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP x17) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4

Tsitsipas

1st rd: bt Jaume Munar (ESP) 4-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4

2nd rd: bt Pablo Cuevas (URU) 6-1, 6-4, 6-2

third rd: bt Aljaz Bedene (SLO) 6-1, 6-2, 3-1 – retired

4th rd: bt Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x18) 6-3, 7-6 (11/9), 6-2

QF: bt Andrey Rublev (RUS x13) 7-5, 6-2, 6-3

Diego Schwartzman (ARG x12) v Rafael Nadal (ESP x2)

Head-to-head: Nadal leads 9-1

— Nadal, the 12-time champion, arrived in Paris nearly writing off his possibilities of equalling Roger Federer’s all-time document of 20 Grand Slam titles.

However, the 34-year-old stands getting ready to a 13th Roland Garros ultimate with out dropping a set and having spent three and a half hours fewer than Schwartzman in attending to the semi-finals.

He stays cautious over his possibilities at a event being performed within the chilly and chill of autumn somewhat than its conventional May-June slot and after ending his quarter-final towards Jannik Sinner at 01:30 on Wednesday morning, he mentioned it was “dangerous for the body with these very heavy conditions”.

Nadal’s late evening on Tuesday was principally brought on by Schwartzman needing greater than 5 hours to defeat US Open champion and third seed Dominic Thiem in 5 units to achieve his maiden semi-final on the majors.

By distinction, Nadal is in his 34th.

However, Schwartzman can be buoyed by defeating Nadal for the primary time in 10 makes an attempt on clay in Rome on the eve of Roland Garros.

Affectionately often known as “El Peque” (“shorty”), 28-year-old Schwartzman is a mere 5ft 6in (1.68m) and the smallest participant on the planet’s high 50.

“I was perfect today. I think I’m going to be perfect in semi-final,” mentioned Schwartzman, having gained his first Grand Slam quarter-final after three earlier failures.

Paths to the semi-finals (x denotes seeded participant)

Schwartzman

1st rd: bt Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) 6-0, 6-1, 6-3

2nd rd: bt Lorenzo Giustino (ITA) 6-1, 7-5, 6-0

third rd: bt Norbert Gombos (SVK) 7-6 (7/3), 6-3, 6-3

4th rd: bt Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) 6-1, 6-3, 6-4

QF: bt Dominic Thiem (AUT x3) 7-6 (7/1), 5-7, 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (7/5), 6-2

Nadal

1st rd: bt Egor Gerasimov (BLR) 6-4, 6-4, 6-2

2nd rd: bt Mackenzie McDonald (USA) 6-1, 6-0, 6-3

third rd: bt Stefano Travaglia (ITA) 6-1, 6-4, 6-0

Promoted

4th rd: bt Sebastian Korda (USA) 6-1, 6-1, 6-2

QF: bt Jannik Sinner (ITA) 7-6 (7/4), 6-4, 6-1

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