The Latest: Many empty seats for French Open semis
PARIS (AP) The Latest on the French Open (all times local):
Leander Paes and Martina Hingis each completed a career Grand Slam in mixed doubles by winning the French Open final against Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig 4-6, 6-4, 10-8.
It was the 10th mixed doubles title at a major for India's Paes, the fifth for Switzerland's Hingis.
Paes also owns eight Grand Slam men's doubles trophies, while Hingis has 12 in women's doubles. Heading into Roland Garros, she had won three majors in a row with Mirza as her partner, but they lost in the third round in Paris.
The icing on Andy Murray's cake: Eric Cantona was in the crowd to watch him advance to the French Open final, and Murray got to the meet the former Manchester United star afterward.
''Incredibly talented guy,'' Murray said. ''He's a legend in British football. So, yeah, it was very, very nice to meet him.''
Although beaten in the French Open semifinals, Dominic Thiem will be back. So says the man who beat him: Novak Djokovic.
The top-ranked man says he told the 22-year-old Thiem after beating him in straight sets that ''we're going to see a lot of him in the future if he continues doing so well.''
''He carries himself very well on and off the court for his age,'' Djokovic said. ''He's a leader of a new generation, very powerful, and has a lot of strength and variety in his game.''
Playing beyond the fourth round for the first time in 10 Grand Slams, the 13th-seeded Austrian acquitted himself better against Djokovic than the 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 score suggested, going toe-to-toe with the winner of 11 major titles and hitting shots fearlessly, if not with the unerring accuracy and consistency of the top seed.
Saving seven of the 13 break points he faced and hitting 27 winners wasn't enough from Thiem to make Djokovic wobble. But his collected performance did firm up impressions that Thiem is on the cusp of becoming a force to be reckoned with. He already has three ATP titles this year.
''He was just too strong today. That's all I can say,'' Thiem said. ''But still it inspires me to even work harder.''
Just 22, but already icy cool.
Garbine Muguruza, Serena Williams' opponent in the French Open final, says she has matured since they last met - in the Wimbledon final last year that Williams won in straight sets.
That was the Spaniard's first Grand Slam final. There will be many more, judging from how efficiently she has scythed through the French Open field and Samantha Stosur in the semifinals on Friday to set up the title match against defending champion Williams.
''I was tense. It was difficult for me to manage stress,'' Muguruza recalled of her 6-4, 6-4 loss on the Wimbledon grass to the top-ranked woman.
But on the red clay of Paris, fourth-seeded Muguruza has impressed with both her powerful tennis and, like Williams, her steely attitude.
''I have learned a lot how to control my emotions inside the court and outside the court,'' she said. ''It's very important, because sometimes it's not too good to show them.''
Muguruza believes tennis fans are eager for a changing of the guard after the dominance of Williams, who will be aiming for her 22nd major title on Saturday.
At Wimbledon, ''people were saying we'd like to have new faces. We'd like to have new blood,'' Muguruza said. ''I don't really know the French audience, the French crowd, but I know they really love Serena, so we will see. Some will be for her and some will be supporting me, I hope.''
Novak Djokovic's opponent in the final of the French Open will be Andy Murray, through to the championship match at the clay-court Grand Slam for the first time.
The No. 2-seeded Murray, who stalled in the semifinals three times previously, beat defending champion Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 on Court Philippe Chatrier.
Murray is the first British player through to the final in Paris since Bunny Austin in 1937.
He won the last game to love, punishing a weak attempted lob from Wawrinka on match point with a smash to close out the victory.
''Looking forward to the final,'' Murray said. ''I'm extremely proud.''
Novak Djokovic is back in the final of the French Open, earning another chance to win the only Grand Slam that has eluded him with a 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 semifinal victory against Dominic Thiem.
A first double fault from Djokovic in his first service game put him under immediate pressure, at 0-30, at the start of the third set. Thiem then worked his way to 15-40, only for Djokovic to save the first break point with a forehand winner. But he could do nothing about the second, looking on with bemusement as Thiem thumped a winner of his own into the corner to take a 2-0 lead. A service game to love from Thiem then put him 3-0 up.
But the fightback was short-lived. Two games later, a long forehand from Thiem gave Djokovic two breakpoints. He needed just the first, taking that game and then holding serve to level at 3-3.
Djokovic then went back on the offensive, breaking Thiem again in the seventh game for 4-3 and giving the young Austrian no quarter when he tried to outfox the Serb with a lob. Not only did Djokovic run to the back of the court to retrieve the ball, he then hit a winner for the point, congratulating himself with a clenched fist.
With Djokovic serving for the match at 5-4, Thiem was both fresh out of fight and ideas. Djokovic netted a forehand at 30-all to give Thiem a last-gasp break point, but he couldn't exploit it.
When Djokovic then got to match point, Thiem hit a backhand wide.
Djokovic celebrated in style, gathering together six ball boys and girls with him on court. They all raised their arms to the skies as the crowd shouted ''Ole!''
Novak Djokovic is one set away from another final at the only Grand Slam he hasn't won, taking the second set 6-1 in his French Open semifinal against Dominic Thiem, having won the first set 6-2.
A drop shot from Djokovic in the third game of the second set had so much backspin on it that his 22-year-old Austrian opponent looked like Bambi on ice as he braked and slid awkwardly trying to get his racket to the ball that skewed crazily off the clay.
Thiem served an ace to save the first of two break points in the next game but then hit a backhand wide to hand Djokovic a 3-1 lead.
He saved another break point with a forehand winner at 4-1 but couldn't save a second, hitting a backhand long, for Djokovic to then serve for the set at 5-1.
Djokovic sealed the two-set lead with a crisp backhand winner on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
In the other men's semifinal, on the main Court Philippe Chatrier, Andy Murray has won the first set 6-4 against defending champion Stan Wawrinka.
In a battle of tennis' top man against his possible future replacement, Novak Djokovic has taken the first set of his French Open semifinal against Dominic Thiem.
The No. 1 broke Thiem in his first service game, following up a terrific angled drop-shot with a passing shot for a 2-0 lead.
The 10,000-seat Court Suzanne Lenglen, which had blocks of empty seats for much of the women's semifinal that preceded the men's match, filled with spectators eager to see Djokovic tested by the 22-year-old Austrian whose precious talent suggests he could also become a big star of the future.
The No. 13 seed staved off a break point in the fourth game to prevent Djokovic from going 4-0 up, and saved another when serving at 4-1. They graced the set with tennis of the highest standard, including an exchange of angled drop-shots in the sixth game that concluded with an emphatic volley from Thiem.
He played fearlessly, giving almost as good as he got against Djokovic's barrages of shots and relentless defense.
When Thiem twice got his racket to huge smashes from Djokovic, the No. 1 then clenched a fist in triumph when a third smash finally zipped beyond the Austrian's reach in the seventh game, which the Serb won to go 5-2 up.
A double fault from Thiem at deuce in the next game then gave Djokovic set point. He took the set 6-2 with a fierce cross-court forehand that Thiem could only hit back into the net.
While Serena Williams was made to labor for her French Open semifinal win against unseeded Kiki Bertens, Garbine Muguruza unfurled all the weapons that could one day take her to the top of women's tennis when 34-year-old Williams finally makes way.
Aside from a late bout of nerves when serving for the match, fourth-seeded Muguruza was imperious in her semifinal on Friday against Samantha Stosur, bossing the Australian with her speed and power from the back of the court and her steadiness at the net.
Muguruza's maturity belies her 22 years. The two-time quarterfinalist at Roland Garros has barely put a foot wrong on way to her first French Open final, dropping just one set - in the first round.
She broke Stosur five times, profiting from the No.24-seeded player's string of errors - including two double faults on break points in the second set.
Muguruza has won just one of her four previous meetings with defending French Open champion Williams, but it should give hope for Saturday's final, because it was on the clay of Roland Garros, in the second round in 2014. Muguruza won 6-2, 6-2.
The last time they played was also for a Grand Slam title, at the Wimbledon final in 2015. Williams won 6-4, 6-4.
Serena Williams moved one victory from her second consecutive French Open trophy and 22nd Grand Slam title overall, beating Kiki Bertens 7-6 (7), 6-4 in the semifinals Friday.
For the second match in a row, the No. 1-seeded Williams was hardly at her best, falling behind early and making 22 unforced errors in the first set alone. Williams needed to erase two set points for the 58th-ranked Bertens in the opener, but managed to get through it.
In the final, Williams will face No. 4 Garbine Muguruza of Spain, a rematch of last year's Wimbledon title match won by the American.
If Williams wins Saturday, she will equal Steffi Graf's Open-era record of 22 major championships. Only Margaret Court, with 24, has won more.
Garbine Muguruza is into her first French Open final.
The fourth-seeded Spaniard beat Samantha Stosur 6-2, 6-4.
Muguruza served two aces to bring up match point and won in 1 hour, 16 minutes when Stosur netted her stroke.
Muguruza was also a finalist at Wimbledon in 2015.
Stosur was undone by a string of errors, including twice serving double faults on break points in the second set.
Muguruza served for the match at 5-2 but was broken to love, the victim of nerves.
''It's always a difficult moment,'' she said.
Serena Williams fended off two set points and converted her second to take the opener 7-6 (7) against Kiki Bertens in their French Open semifinal.
The top-seeded Williams, aiming for a second consecutive title at Roland Garros and her 22nd Grand Slam championship overall, trailed for most of the set and got her only break when Bertens served for it at 5-4.
They played in chilly, cloudy conditions and in front of a mostly empty Court Philippe Chatrier.
Garbine Muguruza has raced to a first-set lead in her French Open semifinal against Samantha Stosur, who made an unsteady start strewn with errors.
Stosur served first, and was immediately under pressure. The fourth-seeded Muguruza hit a forehand smash at the net to earn two break points and converted the first to take a 1-0 lead.
The Spaniard then saved two break points on her serve and broke the 24th-seeded Australian again, when Stosur served a double fault - her second - at 15-40.
The set then stayed with serve to 5-2 for Muguruza.
She then served out the set, with a volleyed forehand winner bringing up set point and Stosur then hitting a backhand service return long, for a 6-2 first set in 34 minutes.
It's far from a full house for the start of the two women's semifinals being played, unusually, at the same time and on a Friday at the French Open, with many seats unfilled.
There are blocks of empty seats on the main Court Philippe Chatrier, where defending champion Serena Williams was broken in her first service game by the unseeded Kiki Bertens.
An effort to fill the adjacent Court Suzanne Lenglen, where Garbine Muguruza has jumped to a 4-0 first-set lead against Samantha Stosur, by offering 8,000 cheap 20-euro ($22) tickets appears to have met with limited success, with large areas of empty seats.
A day late, two women's semifinals are underway at the French Open, played simultaneously on separate courts to squeeze them in after a rain-wrecked week before the final on Saturday.
Had damp weather not thrown off the schedule, Serena Williams, Kiki Bertens, Garbine Muguruza and Samantha Stosur normally would have played their semifinals on Thursday, leaving the finalists a full day of rest before the championship match.
But unrelenting rain that washed out a whole day of play on Monday, for the first time in 16 years, and other wet-weather delays nixed those plans.
Instead of being played one after the other on the main Court Philippe Chatrier, they're now playing at the same time. Defending champion Williams is up against the unseeded Bertens on Chatrier, with fourth-seeded Muguruza and No. 24 Stosur next door on Court Suzanne Lenglen.