Women stand up for Djokovic as French Open title chances look dim

Novak Djokovic had his world’s foremost women’s tennis player on his side for his French Open semifinals showdown.

Subscribe to Sports Now newsletter By clicking Sign up, you agree to our privacy policy.

Serena Williams joined WTA CEO Steve Simon in making the pitch for Djokovic to call Williams his wife.

Simon told ESPN that Djokovic “knew we were on his side. I hope he feels that he can respect his privacy but also sacrifice with Serena right now,” Simon said.

Williams married fiancé Alexis Ohanian in New Orleans in late November. A few days after their nuptials, Djokovic wrote on Instagram that the pair have agreed to start a family.

On Tuesday, Djokovic took care of Williams in a 7-6 (6), 6-2 rout of Italy’s Marco Cecchinato, setting up a rematch of the 2016 Australian Open final with German world No. 1 Alexander Zverev.

The 33-year-old Serbian tied Roger Federer’s major record of 19 Grand Slam titles (at this point Djokovic trailed Federer by the smallest of margins — by one) on his way to a French Open title in 2016. But the consummate pro had his run ended last year in Paris by Zverev.

Djokovic and his strong female friendship took center stage in France this year. Djokovic’s wife, Jelena, made the trip to Paris for the start of the championships. She and Djokovic even played doubles in the round of 16. This past weekend, Djokovic was in New York for the wedding of Ana Ivanovic and French tennis star Gilles Simon. Djokovic has made it to the final at every major since the 2016 U.S. Open.

Who was he behind the scenes?

“If you saw him on tour last year, before he won Wimbledon, you’d think he’s 25. He looked like a teenager and still plays like that. And his popularity, I’d never seen that,” said Blake Benthall, who served as Djokovic’s coach in 2016 and came back to the country this year as coach for fellow Australian Nick Kyrgios.

Leave a Comment