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By Tammy Bruce
Topic - French Open
When the draw for the Australian Open was made, it wasn't Roger Federer who was being widely touted as the prime contender to claim an 18th major title.
Serena Williams loves a bit of drama, even if she has to add the theatrical embellishments herself.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Women to watch at the Australian Open, which begins Monday:
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Men to watch at the Australian Open, which begins Monday:
SHENZHEN, China (AP) — Defending champion Li Na and Peng Shuai advanced Friday to set up an all-Chinese final at the Shenzhen Open.
Everything will always be different moving forward for Andy Murray, who became the first British man to win Wimbledon in 77 years by beating No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 in Sunday's final.
Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay shot a 3-under 68 Friday to lead by one stroke after the second round of the French Open.
Of the four men preparing for Friday's semifinals at Wimbledon, nobody has had skated through a less-taxing road than the top-ranked and top-seeded Serb, who remains the odds-on favorite to win his seventh Grand Slam title.
Darcis of Belgium stunned the two-time champion 7-6 (4), 7-6 (8), 6-4. He ended Nadal's 22-match winning streak and eliminated one of the Big Four of men's tennis on the very first day of the grass-court Grand Slam.
The seven-time champion twice let a lead slip away in the fourth set Friday, then came from behind in the fifth to beat the No. 1-ranked Djokovic 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7 (3), 9-7.
Williams reached the French Open final for the first time since 2002 when she beat Sara Errani 6-0, 6-1 Thursday. The 15-time Grand Slam champion won her only Roland Garros title 11 years ago, beating sister Venus in the final.
It was the first victory of Sharapova's career after losing an opening set 6-0. Her opponent Friday will be two-time Australian Open champion Azarenka, who reached her first Roland Garros semifinal by beating Maria Kirilenko 7-6 (3), 6-2.
Djokovic, the winner of six major titles, seeks to become the eighth man to complete a career Grand Slam, but he'll have to get past seven-time French Open champion Nadal first.
Federer was eliminated before the semifinals for the second time in past three major events, but only the fifth time in the past nine years at a Grand Slam tournament.
Djokovic will next play 35-year-old Tommy Haas, who became the oldest French Open men's quarterfinalist since 1971 by beating Mikhail Youzhny 6-1, 6-1, 6-3. Haas is also the oldest man to reach the quarters at any major event since Andre Agassi at the 2005 U.S. Open.