Djokovic to play French Open semi away from main show court

Thu Jun 2, 2016 2:39pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) - World number one Novak Djokovic will play his French Open semi-final on Friday away from the main show court after organizers were forced to stage four semi-finals on the same day in the rain-ravaged grand slam tournament.

Djokovic, looking to win the only major to elude him, will take on Austrian Dominic Thiem on Court Suzanne Lenglen after the completion of the women's last four encounter between Spain's Garbine Muguruza and Samantha Stosur.

Djokovic, who will be contesting his 30th major semi-final, is no stranger to playing a last-four showdown away from main stage. In 2007, his Wimbledon semi-final against Rafael Nadal took place on Court One.

World number two Andy Murray and defending champion Stan Wawrinka will face each other on the main Court Philippe Chatrier following the match between women's holder Serena Williams and Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens.

Tournament director Guy Forget, who has been criticized for allegedly pushing competitors to play in the rain on Tuesday following Monday's complete washout, said organizers wanted to ensure all players were treated equally.

After announcing that tickets for the Lenglen matches would cost 20 euros, he said: "Our priority is that we can play the finals on Saturday and Sunday.

"There is no ideal solution, you must find compromises. There is a choice to make... Tomorrow the playing conditions will be tough, the goal is to finish tomorrow's matches.

"To ensure fairness, we needed to start both men's semi-final at the same time so that both winners can have the same rest time."   Continued...

Tennis - French Open Mens Singles Quarterfinal match - Roland Garros - Novak Djokovic of Serbia vs Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic - Paris, France - 02/06/16. Novak Djokovic celebrates with a court boy.  REUTERS/Benoit Tessier