PARIS -- Novak Djokovic squeezed his eyes shut and raised both arms, a rather reserved celebration at the conclusion of his up-and-down, two-day, five-set French Open semifinal victory over Andy Murray.
There's one more match for Djokovic to win if he's going to collect his first championship at Roland Garros and complete a long-sought career Grand Slam, and conserving energy was key.
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The No. 1-seeded Djokovic reached his third French Open final the hard way, getting past No. 3 Murray 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 5-7, 6-1 yesterday in the resumption of a suspended match to stretch his winning streak to 28.
The semifinal was halted at 3-all in the fourth set Friday night because of an incoming storm. Murray took that set when they returned, but Djokovic was superb in the fifth, and yesterday's play took 61 minutes, bringing the total count to 4 hours, 9 minutes.
"No different from any other match that we played against each other. It's always a thriller, always a marathon," Djokovic said. "Wasn't a physically easy match, that's for sure, but I think I will be fine for the finals. Whatever I have left in me I will put out on the court tomorrow, and hopefully it can be enough."
He already owns eight major titles, but none from Roland Garros, where he lost the 2012 and 2014 finals to Rafael Nadal, the nine-time champion he eliminated in this year's quarterfinals.
Less than 25 hours after finishing off Murray, Djokovic will face No. 8 Stan Wawrinka today with a chance to become only the eighth man in tennis history to own at least one trophy from each of the sport's four most prestigious tournaments. He already owns five from the Australian Open, two from Wimbledon and one from the U.S. Open.
Beat Wawrinka for the 18th time in 21 meetings, and Djokovic also would be the first man since Jim Courier in 1992 to win the Australian Open and French Open consecutively, putting him halfway to the first calendar-year Grand Slam in 46 years.
Wawrinka won his semifinal against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Friday, as scheduled, so he enjoyed a less-stressful yesterday than Djokovic. In 2014, Wawrinka won his first major title at the Australian Open, then showed up in Paris and promptly lost in the first round.
Now he'll make his French Open final debut against Djokovic, who has so much to play for.
"For sure, we're both going to be nervous," Wawrinka said. "That's a fact."