French Open 2019: Ruthless Djokovic to face Thiem in semis, teenager Anisimova shocks Halep
Novak Djokovic reached his ninth Roland Garros semi-final Thursday, sweeping past Alexander Zverev to keep his bid to become just the second man to hold all four Slams at the same time twice firmly on track.
Top seed and world number one Djokovic won 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 and will face Austrian fourth seed Dominic Thiem on Friday in what will be his 35th Grand Slam semi-final.
Thiem reached the semi-finals for a fourth successive year with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 victory against Russian 10th seed Karen Khachanov.
"It was a big challenge for me today but I was hitting the ball more cleanly," said 32-year-old Djokovic.
"I just have to keep my concentration and stay in the moment. I hope to continue like this," said the Serb.
Friday's other semi-final will see Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer resume their great rivalry, meaning this is the first time the top four seeds have all reached the last four at a Grand Slam since the 2013 Australian Open.
The last time Djokovic made the semi-finals was 2016 when he went on to win the title.
He has a 6-2 career lead over Thiem and beat the Austrian in the Rome semi-finals in the run-up to Paris.
However, Thiem came out on top in the Roland Garros quarter-finals in straight sets in 2017.
Zverev says it's tough to beat Djokovic when he's in control. /VCG Photo

Zverev says it's tough to beat Djokovic when he's in control. /VCG Photo

Fifth seed Zverev, bidding to reach a maiden Slam semi-final and become the first German in the last-four in Paris since Michael Stich in 1996, made the stronger start.
The 22-year-old had break points in the third and fifth games of the opening set and finally broke through for a 5-4 lead.
But top seed Djokovic leveled immediately before claiming the set on a Zverev double fault.
Djokovic dominated the second set as breaks in the second and eighth games were enough to tighten his grip.
The world number one saved two more break points in the opening game of the third set and again made the German pay with a break for 4-2.
Zverev's 40th and last unforced error proved to be the final point of the one-sided quarter-final.

'Excited' teenager

American teenager Amanda Anisimova said she was "excited" and did not suffer from nerves after stunning defending champion Simona Halep on Thursday to reach a French Open semi-final against Australian eighth seed Ashleigh Barty.
The 17-year-old downed Halep 6-2, 6-4 on Court Philippe Chatrier to announce herself on the big stage, while Barty saw off 14th seed Madison Keys 6-3, 7-5 to also become a first-time Grand Slam semi-finalist.
Anisimova overpowers Halep to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final on Thursday. /VCG Photo

Anisimova overpowers Halep to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final on Thursday. /VCG Photo

"If I didn't look nervous is because I wasn't," said world number 51 Anisimova, who is the youngest player to reach a major semi-final since Nicole Vaidisova at the 2007 Australian Open.
"I was just super excited and I was really happy with the opportunity.
"This is more than I could have asked for."
She is the youngest American woman to make the last four at a major since Venus Williams at the 1997 US Open, and the youngest to reach the semis at Roland Garros since Jennifer Capriati in 1990.
The defeat for third seed Halep means it has now been 12 years since the last successful title defense in Paris – Belgian Justine Henin's third straight triumph in 2007.
The winner of Anisimova's clash against Barty in semis will face either Britain's Johanna Konta or Czech 19-year-old Marketa Vondrousova in the final.
World number eight Barty is the highest-ranked woman in the semi-finals, ahead of 26th seed Konta and the unseeded youngsters Anisimova and Vondrousova.
But she insisted it would not give her an advantage, saying: "As I just said, all four of us have been playing great tennis. It's a new situation for me. It's a little bit of a new territory."
Source(s): AFP