Williams dropped three of her first four games against Margarita Gasparyan, but was able to recover and win, 6-4, 6-1, for her 22nd consecutive Grand Slam victory.
Djokovic came up one victory shy once again, stopped by the eighth-seeded Wawrinka and his magical, one-handed backhand. Wawrinka won his first French Open championship and second major title by stunning Djokovic 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 in a superbly played match Sunday.
Overcoming a mid-match lull and a third-set deficit, Serena Williams won her third French Open title and 20th major singles trophy by beating 13th-seeded Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-2 on Saturday.
Down a set and a break Thursday, and clearly not herself, Williams summoned the resolve to reach the final by beating No. 23 seed Timea Bacsinszky and advance to face No. 13 seed Lucie Safarova on Saturday.
Calling it a match he “will remember for a long time,” Djokovic found the dismissal of Nadal, a clay-court master, to be relatively easy on Wednesday, bouncing him from the quarterfinals of the French Open.
Federer, who received treatment on his right hand from an athletic trainer during the match, didn’t break his opponent’s serve for the first time since before he won a Grand Slam match in a loss to Wawrinka.
Williams, who has consistently struggled in the first set throughout the tournament, put her issues aside and held off the 22-year-old Stephens to advance to the quarterfinals.
The backlog forced the fourth-round match between Federer and Monfils, evened at one set each with the winner to face Stan Wawrinka, to be resumed on Monday morning.
Three of the biggest names competing at Roland Garros on Thursday encountered a bit of trouble, yet they all advanced to the next round of the French Open despite less-than-tidy victories.
Williams lost to 22-year-old Sloane Stephens on Monday, marking her second opening-round French Open loss in three years and the fifth time in her last 13 appearances in a Grand Slam she’s bowed out that early.
As the first 17-year-old American man in the French Open since Michael Chang won the 1989 title, Tiafoe learned a valuable lesson from a straight-set loss in his Grand Slam debut.
Federer was approached during an on-court, post-match interview on Sunday by a younger fan who wanted a picture, leaving the 17-time major champion to criticize the tournament’s security setup afterward.