Novak Djokovic battles past Ernests Gulbis in four sets to reach French Open final

Last Updated: 06/06/14 11:28pm

  • Share:
Novak Djokovic: Beat Ernests Gulbis in four sets to reach French Open final

Novak Djokovic: Beat Ernests Gulbis in four sets to reach French Open final

Sky Bet

Second seed Novak Djokovic remains on course to claim a first French Open title after overcoming Ernests Gulbis in four sets in the semi-finals.

Djokovic, who is chasing the one grand slam title still to elude him, snuffed out a fightback by his Latvian opponent to win 6-3 6-3 3-6 6-3 and book a place in the final against Rafa Nadal.

The Serbian lost to Nadal in the final in 2012 and becomes just the sixth man in the Open era to make multiple finals at each slam.

The consolation for Gulbis after the best grand slam tournament of his career is he will make his top-10 debut when the rankings are updated on Monday.

Having seen off Roger Federer and Tomas Berdych on his way to the last four, there did not seem too much danger of the 18th seed freezing in his first grand slam semi-final.

However, in the first two sets he simply could not get going, making far too many errors to put any real pressure on the uber-consistent Djokovic.

Things started well for Gulbis, who won the first six points, and it might have been different had he taken either of two break points in the fourth game, but Djokovic held and then broke his opponent in the following game on his way to taking the set.

One break in the eighth game of the second then proved sufficient for Djokovic, who was only having to find top gear on a few points.

Thumping winners

That changed at the start of the third set, though, as Gulbis at last found the thumping winners and consistent aggression that had taken him this far.

Djokovic managed to stave off break points in the second and sixth games, the crowd finally seeing the exchanges they would have hoped for.

But a backhand threaded down the line gave Gulbis the break for 5-3 and he served out the set with an ace down the middle.

Djokovic looked to have taken a stranglehold once more when he broke for 2-0 at the start of the fourth, but he then played a very poor game to hand it straight back, taking his frustration out on his racquet by smashing it violently on the court.

Given Gulbis' reputation for breaking racquets, it was a surprise, and an indication of the pressure Djokovic was feeling, that he was the first to really lose his cool.

However, the Serbian rarely fails to raise his game when needed and so it proved, Djokovic taking control of the rallies to force a break point in the eighth game before Gulbis sent a backhand long.

That left the second seed serving for the match, and closed things out in style, holding to love.

  • Share:

Related

French Open 2014

Nadal and Djokovic shake hands at the net

Rafa revels in ninth win

Rafael Nadal was delighted to hit back from his Australian Open loss to win a ninth French Open title at Roland Garros.

Maria Sharapova poses with the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen

Maria wins marathon final

Maria Sharapova won her second French Open title after winning a marathon battle with Simona Halep at Roland Garros.

Rafael Nadal: Will be seeking a record fifth consecutive French Open title and his ninth overall

​Nadal targets ninth crown

Rafael Nadal will bid for an unprecedented ninth French Open title when he takes on arch-rival Novak Djokovic on Sunday.

Most Popular

Features

Davis Cup final preview

Davis Cup final preview

Switzerland, spearheaded by Roger Federer, take on France in the final of the Davis Cup at Lille's Stade Pierre Mauroy.

Tennis: 2014 season review

Tennis: 2014 season review

What was your best memory of the 2014 tennis season: the 'big three' or the new talent emerging?

Stars in the crowd

Stars in the crowd

We look at some of the famous faces and sports stars who attended the ATP World Tour Finals at London's O2 Arena.