On Day 12 of the French Open, there were two players who registered first time semifinal appearances in a Grand Slam in the form of Dominic Thiem and Kiki Bertens and there were two players for whom this was business as usual in the form of Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams. There was reason to rejoice for Indian tennis fans too with Leander Paes/Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza/Ivan Dodig through to the final in mixed doubles.
French Open Day 12 AS IT HAPPENED:
0000 hrs IST: THAT’S IT! Leander Paes and Martina Hingis win 6-3, 3-6, 10-7 and will face Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig in the final. Plenty of familiar faces in the final then. Mirza and Dodig make the final after a 4-6, 6-3, 12-10 win.
2227 hrs IST: Paes/Hingis win the first set 6-3.
2223 hrs IST: Hlavackova’s lob is long and that’s a break. Paes serving for the set at 5-3.
2218 hrs IST: Meanwhile on the other court, four consecutive breaks of serves and it is 2-2.
2218 hrs IST: Hingis saves two break points to bring the game back to deuce at 3-3. And then holds serve.
2213 hrs IST: Two breaks of serves early on in the Mirza/Dodig match. Stays on serve in the Paes/Mirza match.
2206 hrs IST: We have order of play for Friday:
Philippe Chatrier Court: 1PM START: Serena vs Kiki followed by Wawrinka and Murray
Suzanne-Lenglen Court: 1PM START: Muguruza vs Stosur followed by Djokovic vs Thiem
2205 hrs IST: Easily done by Hingis as well and it is 2-1 to the Indo-Swiss pairing.
2200 hrs IST: Paes starts off by holding his serve comfortably. Roger-Vasselin does too and it is 1-1.
2153 hrs IST: To clear the rain back log, Leander Paes and Martina Hingis are back out on court to face Andrea Hlavackova and Edouard Roger-Vasselin. And on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, Sania Mirza is with partner Ivan Dodig to take on Kristina Mladenovic and Pierre-Hugues Herbert
2149 hrs IST: Karman Kaur Thandi and her partner Jaimee Fourlis win 4-6, 6-5, 11-9 in girl’s doubles event to Amanda Anisimova/Caty McNally
2146 hrs IST: Women’s semi-finals:
Sam Stosur vs Garbine Muguruza and Serena Williams vs Kiki Bertens
2143 hrs IST: Bertens who won in Nuremberg in both singles and doubles is now into the French Open semis. SCENES! She’s flat out on the court in celebration with tears flowing! She wins it 7-5, 6-2
2142 hrs IST: Bacsinszky once again with an error and another match point for Bertens.
2142 hrs IST: And it is long by Bertens to return it back to deuce by Bacsinszky.
2140 hrs IST: Match point for Bertens.
2139 hrs IST: Switching focus to the other quarterfinal where Bacsinszky is serving to stay in the match at 2-5 in the second set. 30-30 in the game
2135 hrs IST: And a huge serve! Putintseva can’t bring it back and it is another semifinal for Serena at Roland Garros. Wins 5-7, 6-4, 6-1. 31st Grand Slam semi for Serena and fifth here in Roland Garros.
2134 hrs IST: And a surprise forehand error by Putintseva as it goes long. Another match point for Serena
2133 hrs IST: One more match point for Serena. Another Putintseva winner from the backhand side and it is deuce.
2133 hrs IST: Serena wrong footed with a deep and loopy backhand by the Kazakh player. Another one saved.
2132 hrs IST: First match point saved with Serena netting a backhand. Two more..
2131 hrs IST: Putintseva’s forehand is wide and after 2 hours and five minutes it is two match points to Serena.
2131 hrs IST: Odd shot by Putintseva – an odd slice attempt which was high. And it is 30-0 to Serena.
2130 hrs IST: Serena to serve for the match.
2129 hrs IST: Putintseva finally gets on board. Holds serve to make it 1-5.
2126 hrs IST: Bacsinszky breaks Bertens in the second set but is still 1-4 down.
2125 hrs IST: Serena pushes Putintseva to the backhand side twice before shifting angle and sends the Kazakh running to the forehand side which is wide. Game to Serena and she’s 5-0 up.
2124 hrs IST: And Putintseva’s backhand return of serve is wide. Game point Serena.
2124 hrs IST: Saved with a huge serve forcing an error. Deuce.
2123 hrs IST: Really good defence by Putintseva. Making Serena play one ball after the another. And that’s break point for the Kazakh.
2119 hrs IST: On deuce, Serena with a winner and another break point for the World No 1. And Putintseva’s forehand is into the net. Serena now 4-0 up and two games away from the semis.
2118 hrs IST: 15-30 and double fault by Putintseva. Two break points and one saved. The second is saved too as Serena’s backhand is long.
2115 hrs IST: Over on the other court, same scoreline in the second set with Bertens leading against Bacsinszky.
2114 hrs IST: Serena with a brilliant backhand drop shot volley and Putintseva can’t reach in time. 3-0 up now the World No.1
2110 hrs IST: Putintseva’s backhand goes long and there is two break points for Serena. And she needs just one with the Kazakh’s backhand into the net.
2102 hrs IST: Second set 6-4 to Serena with a Putintseva double fault!
2101 hrs IST: Beautiful point from both players stretching side to side before Putintseva slides across on a drop shot and plays a drop of her own.
2059 hrs IST: Putintseva to serve to stay in the second set. But she’s 15-40 down and two break points for the American.
2057 hrs IST: Serena holds after saving two break points. Looks tired after the game as she walks to the chair.
2056 hrs IST: Bertens wins the first set! She takes the first set 7-5 vs Bacsinszky
2053 hrs IST: Are these nerves from Serena? Putintseva holds from 0-40 down and now she sends an easy put away long.
2050 hrs IST: An overjoyed Stan Wawrinka
— Stanislas Wawrinka (@stanwawrinka) June 2, 2016
2045 hrs IST: And Putintseva breaks too! It is back on serve in the second set. 3-4 now
2045 hrs IST: And Bertens breaks back! It is 5-5 now between her and the Swisswoman.
2039 hrs IST: On the other court, Bacsinszky has broken Bertens and will serve at 5-4 for the first set.
2038 hrs IST: Finally Serena’s run of games is broken with a behind the American forehand winner. 4-2 to Serena with a break still intact.
2036 hrs IST: In the other quarterfinal, Kiki Bertens and Timea Bacsinszky are locked at 4-4 in the first set.
2033 hrs IST: After a mad scramble, Putintseva’s backhand lob goes long and Serena in good place now. 4-1 up now in the second set.
2031 hrs IST: Serena breaks Putintseva once again and she has a 3-1 lead now. Three games in a row now for the American. Finally she is mixing things up.
2018 hrs IST: Putintseva has the first set 7-5 and the break early on to lead 1-0 in the second.
2004 hrs IST: Lovely rally going side to side back and forth before Putintseva sends her forehand wide. Just wide!
2003 hrs IST: Serena in good serving flow today. She’s doing so now at 5-5
— Roland Garros (@rolandgarros) June 2, 2016
1951 hrs IST: Serena wins three games in a row to lead 4-3 now and it is on serve.
1939 hrs IST: Putintseva with a forehand winner and she breaks Serena to make it 3-1.
1937 hrs IST: Back on now with Serena serving at 1-1, 15-30.
1935 hrs IST: And play has been suspended on Philippe-Chatrier between Serena and Putintseva.
1930 hrs IST: Semifinals set:
Novak Djokovic vs Dominic Thiem and Andy Murray vs Stan Wawrinka
1928 hrs IST: Wide from Goffin and it is game, set and match Thiem! The Austrian is through to his first ever semi-final with a 4-6, 7-6, 6-4, 6-1 win
1928 hrs IST: Thiem with a gorgeous top spin forehand winner and match point!
1926 hrs IST: Goffin holds serve to at least avoid a bagel in the fourth. Thiem will try to serve it off himself. And it is 30-30 even as rain pours on the players’ rackets!
1924 hrs IST: Switching to the other match where Goffin is trying to stay in the tournament. Thiem two points from his first ever semi-final in a Grand Slam.
1923 hrs IST: Rain getting heavier now on Philippe-Chatrier. But players to stay on court. 1-1 and 15-30 on Serena serve.
1919 hrs IST: Meanwhile Serena and Putintseva have started off on the Philippe-Chatrier. Serena holds her serve first up.
1918 hrs IST: Thiem now steamrolling Goffin. Has taken a 3-0 lead in the fourth and has seven games on the trot.
1909 hrs IST: Martina Hingis and Leander Paes through to the semis with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Elena Vesnina and Bruno Soares. They next face Andrea Hlavackova and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.
1904 hrs IST: Thiem has clawed his way back into the match by taking the third set 6-4 vs Goffin. He’s two set to one up.
1902 hrs IST: An incredible 30th semifinal in a Grand Slam for Djokovic and eighth here in Paris.
1852 hrs IST: Another one: Djokovic’s serve down the tee is not returned. GSM NOVAK! 6-3, 7-5, 6-3
1851 hrs IST: Djokovic hits backhand into the net and one saved by the Czech.
1851 hrs IST: Side-to-side before Berdych can’t return a forehand. two match points.
1850 hrs IST: Uh-oh! Berdych’s backhand is wild and it goes long. 30-15
1849 hrs IST: Berdych with a deep backhand but Djokovic returns in kind and makes it 15-15
1849 hrs IST: Djokovic will serve to win for a place in the semis. 5-3.
1848 hrs IST: Saves one. Two more to go: And Djokovic has the point after Berdych’s backhand clipped the top of the net and goes wide.
1847 hrs IST: Three break points now for Djokovic after a tremendous lob over a tall Berdych.
1837 hrs IST: And play is back on. 3-3 with Djokovic serving.
1835 hrs IST: But the other match continues. Goffin has a break of serve early in the third set
1833 hrs IST: Play has been stopped. The match hasn’t been suspended but they’re going to wait in the holding room. Berdych is incensed with the decision
1824 hrs IST: Thiem wins the second set 7-6. Brings it one set all.
1810 hrs IST: Berdych breaks Novak first up but he’s broken back immediately.
1755 hrs IST: And Djokovic has the second set in the bag too: 7-5.
1755 hrs IST: Berdych’s backhand sails long and it is 0-30. Nervy moment..
1751 hrs IST: Djokovic with some exquisite drop shots and he holds serve to make it 6-5 in the second.
1739 hrs IST: Djokovic’s forehand is long and there is a loud scream by the Czech to bring the set back on serve. 3-4.
1738 hrs IST: Berdych’s backhand is long! One more to go…
1738 hrs IST: Saves one with a well played point from the back: 15-40.
1737 hrs IST: Poor drop shot by Djokovic and three break points for Berdych.
1730 hrs IST: Some umbrellas popping up…
1729 hrs IST: On Lenglen, Goffin has broken Thiem to take a 2-0 lead. That’s games in a row for the Belgium
1728 hrs IST: After losing six games in a row, Berdych has one with an easy volley. 3-1 to Djokovic.
1721 hrs IST: And Berdych has handed Djokovic a gift with a double fault.
1721 hrs IST: On the other court, Goffin has broken Thiem to win the first set 6-4.
1719 hrs IST: Crucial stage in the second set already. Berdych serving at 0-1 and 0-30. Long rally from the baseline before Djokovic with a sublime underspin dropshot. Three break points for Novak.
1717 hrs IST: And Goffin has broken Thiem back. Thiem now serving to stay in at 4-5.
1712 hrs IST: Two set points for Djokovic after an error by Berdych. Beautiful whipping forehand by Djokovic produces an error from Berdych’s forehand and that’s first set to Novak 6-3.
1710 hrs IST: Berdych is serving to stay in the first set at 3-5.
1658 hrs IST: Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig have quickly wrapped up their QF 6-1, 3-6, 10-6 against Yung-Jan Chan and Max Mirnyi. They next face Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Kristina Mladenovic.
1657 hrs IST’: We’re underway on all courts: Djokovic is facing Berdych to seal a place in the semifinal. Thiem is up a break against Goffin on Suzanne Lenglen.
1635 hrs IST: The quarter-final between Djokovic and Berdych is all set to begin
Another defeated player added his voice to the growing criticism of the organisers of the French Open after bowing out of the rain-plagued tournament two days after his match had been scheduled to start.
World number one Novak Djokovic became the first player to smash the $100 million prize money barrier when he reached the French Open quarter-finals for the 10th time on Wednesday.