French Open results: Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic advance, Timea Bacsinszky defeats Venus Williams, Kiki Bertens defeats Madison Keys.
A recap of the action on Day 11 on Wednesday at the French Open in Paris, including results, tweets, hot shots, photos and more.
• In a match originally scheduled for Monday, No. 1 Serena Williams and No. 18-seed Elina Svitolina finally took the court on Wednesday morning and the defending champ wasted no time. In just 62 minutes, Serena defeated Svitolina 6–1, 6–1 to reach her 44th career Grand Slam quarterfinal.
“I didn't play my best in the third round and I really wanted to come out and do a lot better and prove that I can do better than that,” Serena said after the match. “I think every day, for me, is important to get up for all my matches, first round to the last round. I feel like the moment I step on the court that's all I see, is the ball and the opportunity to do the best I can.”
In the next round, scheduled for Thursday, Serena will play Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva, who took out No. 12-seed Carla Suarez Navarro 7–5, 7–5 on Wednesday.
“I have actually played her a couple of times, and most recently in Indian Wells,” Serena said of Putintseva. “You know, she's a tough player. She's really hungry. I feel like she gives 200% on every single point. You know, she's a fighter.
“I feel like I'm a little bit that way myself, too. I give everything on every point. I'm a fighter. I think, you know, she and I both are just trying to win this match to go to the next round.”
• Kiki Bertens reached her first major quarterfinal on Wednesday with a 7–6(4), 6–3 win over No. 15-seed Madison Keys. After defeating No. 3-seed Angelique Kerber in the opening round and taking out No. 29-seed Daria Kasatkina in the third round, 58th-ranked Bertens continued her form vs. Keys in a match that was postponed from Monday. After two days of inclement weather, Bertens said she had to adjust to the different feel of the heavy court conditions.
“I think I feel it already a little bit in my shoulder. The balls are much heavier than the other days,” Bertens said. “I think also like my ball is not so much doing like as when the sun is out, but I think still I did a pretty good job today.”
After winning the title in Nürnberg last week—just the second WTA title of her career—and following her run in Paris, Bertens clay record for the year is now 14-2. She is the first Dutchwoman through to the quarterfinals in Paris since Manon Bollegraf in 1992.
In the quarterfinals, Bertens will face No. 8-seed Timea Bacsinszky, who defeated No. 9-seed Venus Williams 6–2, 6–4 on Wednesday. After going down 2-0, the Swiss won 12 of the last 16 games and sealed the win with her first ace of the match on match point to beat Venus for the first time in her career. A semifinalist here last year, Bacsinszky advances to the quarterfinals for the third time in the last five Grand Slams.
• Novak Djokovic and Roberto Bautista Agut took the court on Wednesday to try to finish their fourth round match, with Djokovic leading 3–6, 6–4, 4–1. After dropping the first set on Tuesday, the World No. 1 wasn’t himself against Bautista Agut, committing 54 unforced errors on the match to his opponent’s 49, but was able to raise his level just enough to get a 3–6, 6–4, 6–1, 7–5 win.
"Yesterday the match was interrupted three times, and of course it wasn't easy coming into the facilities here at 9:00 a.m. and leaving at, you know, 7:30 or 8:00 p.m., but it's not the first and probably not the last time I'm going to have to face these particular circumstances," Djokovic said after the match. "Of course I know that I can play better and I have a couple more gears. That excites me, actually, motivates me to work and get myself in that maximum speed hopefully for the next match and see where it takes me."
Djokovic advances to the quarterfinals for the 28th consecutive major and will face Tomas Berdych, who defeated David Ferrer 6–3, 7–5, 6–3 on Wednesday to reach the Roland Garros quarterfinals for the third time in his career.
"It's really tough to say, especially with him," Berdych said of his quarterfinal match against Djokovic, "But I think he can also deal with these conditions quite well, so let's see if it's going to play to be advantage or disadvantage, which I don't know right now. Really I have nothing to lose. I'm playing well and I'm just going to try to stick with that. I'm going to try to, again, use my tennis as much as I can on the court and really just try to be the one who is dictating the ball."
• No. 13-seed Dominic Thiem defeated Marcel Granollers—who got a walkover from Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal—on Wednesday, 6–2, 6–7, 6–1, 6–4 to advance to his first Grand Slam quarterfinal. The Austrian is just the second Austrian male player to reach the French Open quarterfinals in the Open Era since Filip Dewulf in 1997-98. Thiem will next face Belgian David Goffin, after the No. 12-seed topped Ernests Gulbis 4–6, 6–2, 6–2, 6–3 on Wednesday.
"Like two years ago I was here with Ernests [Gulbis] and he played semifinals, and back then I couldn't really imagine that I'd go this far myself one day, and it's already here like two years later and it feels really good," Thiem said after the match. "It already felt good to be in the last 16. But it doesn't really matter during the tournament now. I don't really think about it. I just think about the next match, which is very difficult, and already tomorrow. So everything what is in my mind is how I can do my best tomorrow."
• Hometown favorite and No. 9-seed Richard Gasquet came out firing against No. 2-seed Andy Murray on Wednesday, taking the first set 7–5. But Murray fought back, winning the second 7–6(3) to level the match and mark the sixth consecutive meeting where they split first two sets.
Ultimately, it was the higher seed that prevailed down the stretch, as Murray was able to close out the match 5–7, 7–6(3), 6–0, 6–2 and advance to the Roland Garros semifinals.
“I do think I played well. Obviously the match could have been maybe more comfortable had I done a bit better serving out the first two sets. But, you know, aside from that I was playing some good stuff,” Murray said. “I finished the match extremely well, I think. It wasn't easy for me today. You know, I played two guys where you get zero rhythm, against Karlovic and Isner. Then a two-day break where you're barely hitting any balls because of the conditions. It was 30, 40 minutes of hitting. Then coming out and playing a completely different match today, I thought I did well for the most part in, you know, a tough atmosphere, too. It's not bad.”
Murray’s win sets a date in the semifinals against defending champion Stan Wawrinka, who defeated Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 on Wednesday.
“Today it was a really good match,” Wawrinka said after the win, his ninth-straight after capturing the title in Geneva before the tournament. “I play some really good tennis. I was really focused out there. I am moving well. I'm really happy with what I'm doing so far, and being in semifinal again, it's something really good for me.”
• In the women’s quarterfinals matches from the bottom half of the draw, Garbine Muguruza ended Shelby Rogers 7–5, 6–3, while Sam Stosur returned to the semifinals for the first time since 2012 with a tight 6-4, 7-6(6) victory over Tsvetana Pironkova. The 32-year-old Australian said she was happy to get through the match vs. Pironkova in straight sets. A finalist in 2010, Stosur acknowledged her dip in ranking since her last run to the second week as part of the sport.
“I think tennis in general is very reactive,” she said. “You can have a great year or two and then you have a slump and everyone writes you off. I think even people write off Roger and Rafa. If they will write them off they will write off everyone else.
“But I think it all really comes down to how you feel about what you're doing….There has obviously been a few dips along the way there. It's important to, I guess, really believe in yourself and what you're doing and know if I keep doing this I can turn it around.”
She’ll face No. 4-seed Muguruza in Friday’s semifinal match-up.
Hot shots of the Day
Tweets of the Day
Quote of the Day
Q. You just said Venus is a big inspiration to many players, but I think you are also an inspiration as an athlete because of your career and that you have gone through a lot of ups and downs. So what kind of a message do you think you're sending to your fellow players or maybe junior players or in general?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: It's funny, because talking about junior players, I was on Suzanne Lenglen today and you get to see all the juniors because they're based over there. Yesterday I was at Jean Bouin at the practice facilities for the French Open.
Yesterday they uncovered two courts for Murray and for myself. Well, my hitting partner told me that some juniors were complaining because they were saying, Oh? Who is Bacsinszky? Why does she need a court? So I don't know if I'm such a big inspiration then.
The Day in Photos
Daily Data Viz
Each day, SI and IBM will bring you data-driven infographics based on the top storylines and stats from Roland Garros. Click the image to view the graphic.
How do Andy Murray and Richard Gasquet match up? A comparison of their stats at the French Open so far.
This post will be updated.