The 2017 French Open continues on NBC Sports with coverage of the men’s semifinal on Friday. While the women’s tournament saw several underdogs advance to the penultimate round at Roland Garros (with Simona Halep and Jelena Ostapenko advancing to Saturday’s final), the men’s semis on Friday will be a matchup of tennis heavyweights.
N0. 1 Andy Murray faces off against No. 3 Stan Wawrinka in the early match of the day before No. 4 Rafael Nadal battles No. 6 Dominic Thiem. Coverage begins at 11 a.m. ET on NBC and the NBC Sports app.
Despite owning the higher seed, Murray will face a stern challenge in the hard-hitting Wawrinka, who raised the Coupe des Mousquetaires in 2015 after defeating Novak Djokovic for his second Grand Slam title. Both players are adept on clay and own three Grand Slam titles, giving the winner a chance to break this trophy tie among two of the best in the modern game.
A legend awaits on the other side of the bracket, as Nadal faces Thiem in the second match of the day. The 23-year old Austrian pulled off a major upset over Novak Djokovic to reach the French Open semis for the second year in a row. His reward? A meeting with the greatest clay court player of all-time in a resurgent Nadal, who has returned to his usual dominance at Roland Garros after missing out on the tournament semifinals in back-to-back years for the first time since 2005.
Who: Andy Murray vs. Stan Wawrinka and Rafael Nada vs. Dominic Thiem
When: Thursday, 11 a.m. ET
Where: NBC and the NBC Sports app
HALLE, Germany (AP) Defending champion Roger Federer defeated Matthew Ebden 7-6 (2), 7-5 to reach the semifinals of the grass-court Gerry Weber Open on Friday.
Federer was made to work hard by Ebden, who saved five of the eight break points he faced and was leading 5-3 in the second set.
Federer, who saved two match points against Benoit Paire in the second round the day before, recovered to go 6-5 up and then broke Ebden to take his first match point for a meeting with American qualifier Denis Kudla.
Kudla earlier defeated Japan’s Yuichi Sugita 6-2, 7-5 to book his semifinal place.
Federer, who won his 18th grass-court title in Stuttgart on Sunday, is just three match wins away from matching Jimmy Connors’ all-time record of 174 victories on grass.
Federer extended his grass-court winning streak to 19 including the Stuttgart title and last year’s titles in Halle and Wimbledon. He is bidding for a record-extending 10th trophy in Halle.
HALLE, Germany (AP) Defending champion Roger Federer survived two match points against Benoit Paire to reach the quarterfinals of the Gerry Weber Open with a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7) win on Thursday.
Paire rallied after losing the first set to take the second, and the Frenchman defended two match points at 6-5 in the decider to force a tiebreaker. Eight minutes later, it was a match point for the 48th-ranked Paire, and again when a mistake from Federer left it 7-6 in Paire’s favor.
But the top-ranked Swiss took the next three points to close the match in just under two hours at the grass-court tournament.
Federer extended his grass-court winning streak to 18 matches, including his titles in Stuttgart last week and at Halle and Wimbledon last year.
Federer skipped the entire clay-court season for the second year in a row and is now just four wins away from matching Jimmy Connors’ all-time record of 174 victories on grass.
Federer next faces Matthew Ebden of Australia, who upset former champion Philipp Kohlschreiber 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.
Also Thursday, Borna Coric defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-2.
The Croat next faces either Florian Mayer or Andreas Seppi.