Novak Djokovic bounced back from a challenging first set to defeat Karen Khachanov 4-6, 7-6(0), 6-2, 6-4 and secure his place in the French Open semifinals. With this victory, Djokovic remains on track to potentially secure his record-breaking 23rd men’s singles Grand Slam title.
Initially, Djokovic struggled to find a way past Khachanov’s strong serve, but after winning the second-set tiebreak, he gained momentum and never looked back. Now, he eagerly awaits the outcome of the match between Carlos Alcaraz and Stefanos Tsitsipas, as the winner of that match will be Djokovic’s opponent in the semifinals, standing in the way of his seventh French Open final appearance.
Playing on Philippe Chatrier Court, which gradually became shaded, Djokovic encountered no break opportunities and seemed a bit slow in the opening set. However, he soon found his rhythm and displayed his metronomic game, leaving Khachanov with limited chances to halt Djokovic’s march into the semifinals.
“Then I played a perfect tiebreak and from that moment onwards I played a couple of levels higher, managed to win eight points in a row to finish it off.”
At the age of 36, Novak Djokovic finds himself in his 12th Roland Garros semifinal, marking his 45th appearance in the semifinals of Grand Slam tournaments overall. His next opponent in the semifinals will be either world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz or 2021 runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas, as they vie for a chance to face Djokovic in the final on Sunday.
In his match against Karen Khachanov, Djokovic experienced the unfamiliar situation of falling behind for the first time in this year’s French Open. However, he swiftly regained control by dominating the second-set tiebreak and then secured a crucial break in the third set. This breakthrough came after a fortuitous net bounce, allowing Djokovic to assert his dominance and take charge of the match.