Serbian star defeated Carreno Busta clash despite neck, shoulder troubles
World number one Novak Djokovic said he was “feeling okay” after overcoming neck and shoulder troubles to defeat Pablo Carreno Busta on Wednesday and set up a French Open semi-final showdown with Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The Serbian tennis star defeated Spanish 17th seed with the score of 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 and 6-4 to reach the last-four of a major for the 38th time as he chases a second French Open and 18th Grand Slam title.
However, the 2020 Australian Open champion required treatment on his upper left arm after dropping his first set of the tournament on a chilly autumn evening in Paris.
“I definitely didn’t feel great coming onto the court today, a few things happened in the warm-up,” said Djokovic. “I had some neck issues and some shoulder issues. I don’t really want to get too much into it. I’m feeling okay, I’m still in the tournament so I don’t want to reveal too much. As the match went on, I felt better, didn’t feel as much pain.”
The Serb now sits two wins away from becoming the first man in half a century — and only the third in history — to win all four Slams twice.
Tsitsipas made his second Grand Slam semi-final with a straight-sets win over 13th seed Andrey Rublev, avenging last month’s loss to the Russian in the Hamburg final.
The Greek fifth seed downed Rublev 7-5, 6-2 and 6-3 to match his breakout run at the 2019 Australian Open.
“I’m expecting since a young age to potentially triumph at these Grand Slams. I’m happy that I’m able to be in a position where I am today,” said Tsitsipas. “I’m chasing something spectacular. Despite not having a good start and being a break down, I remembered what a big fighter I am. It’s also about fighting and trying to find solutions in difficult moments. I managed to put my brain to work.”
Tsitsipas, 22, has now won 15 successive sets at the tournament having been two sets down to Jaume Munar in the opening round.
However that streak looked in peril when Rublev, also making his first French Open quarter-final appearance, served for the opening set at 5-4.