Wednesday Roundup From The French Open

By Jim McCoy Wed 5th June SportsFrench OpenTennis
Here's what's happening Wednesday at the French Open: AZARENKA ADVANCES Third-seeded Victoria Azarenka became the first woman representing Belarus to reach the semifinals of the French Open by defeating Maria Kirilenko of Russia 7-6 (3), 6-2 on Wednesday. The two-time Australian Open champ won five straight points to lead 6-1 in the tiebreaker before hitting a backhand crosscourt winner to take the first set. Kirilenko, who has never advanced past the quarterfinals in any Grand Slam tournament, double-faulted to trail 3-1 in the second set. Azarenka sealed her spot in the last four when Kirilenko sent a forehand long. She will next face No. 2 Maria Sharapova, who beat No. 18 Jelena Jankovic. SHARAPOVA SURVIVES Maria Sharapova lost the first six games, then won the last four to reach the semifinals. The defending champion overcame a miserable start in the quarterfinals to beat Jelena Jankovic, 0-6, 6-4, 6-3. It was the first victory of Sharapova's career after losing an opening set 6-0. Sharapova won her first French Open title a year ago to complete a career Grand Slam. She's 42-9 at the French Open, best among active women. NADAL ROLLS FORWARD Turning in his finest performance yet at this year's French Open, seven-time champion Rafael Nadal reached the semifinals with a 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 victory over ninth-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka on Wednesday. After dropping the first set in each of the first two rounds, Nadal has won 12 sets in a row, looking better and better at Roland Garros, where he now is 57-1. Not that this result was all that surprising: Nadal improved to 10-0 against Wawrinka and has won all 22 sets they've played. Nadal reached the 20th Grand Slam semifinal of his career, while preventing Wawrinka from getting to his first. The Spaniard is trying to become the first man to win eight titles at the same Grand Slam tournament. DJOKOVIC HALTS HAAS novak Djokovic advanced Wednesday to the semifinals of the only Grand Slam tournament he has yet to win, beating Tommy Haas 6-3, 7-6 (5), 7-5 at the French Open. Djokovic, the winner of six major titles, seeks to become the eighth man to complete a career Grand Slam. He eased past the 35-year-old Haas, winning 40 of his first 43 service points. Haas found himself on the verge of pulling even at 5-all in the tiebreaker, but Djokovic smacked a backhand winner to end a 24-stroke rally and won the next point as well for a two-set lead. Djokovic reached his 12th consecutive Grand Slam semifinal.

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