Djokovic enters $100 million dollar club, Serena plays catch-up
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[June 01, 2016]
By Pritha Sarkar
PARIS (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic had 100 million reasons to
celebrate reaching the French Open quarter-finals on Wednesday --
albeit two days later than expected -- as players made a mad dash to
clear the fourth-round backlog created by the fickle Parisian
The Serbian world number one became the first tennis player to
bank $100 million in prize money after his 3-6 6-4 6-1 7-5 win over
Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut tipped him over the magic number.
However, the fourth-round winner's cheque is a far cry from the real
prize Djokovic has his eyes on this week.
What he desperately wants is to get his hands on the Musketeers' Cup
to complete his grand slam collection.
After winning a match that was originally scheduled for Monday,
began on Tuesday and was finally completed on Wednesday, the
29-year-old will have to play four days in succession if he is to
reach Sunday's title showdown.
"I have the feeling I played three matches against him," a grinning
Djokovic told the crowd after donning a yellow rain hat during his
With only two hours of play possible over the previous two days as
Parisians were hit by monsoon-like showers, the women in top seed
Serena Williams' half of the draw had also been left stranded in the
fourth round for 48 hours.
Hence it was little surprise they were all in a hurry to play
catch-up on Wednesday.
NO FAMILY REUNION
Williams is no stranger to playing in front of capacity crowds but
barely a couple of hundred spectators bothered to turn up at the
15,000-seater Philippe Chatrier Court as she began her tussle
against 18th seed Elina Svitolina.
However, one person who was there to witness the champion's 6-1 6-1
walloping of Svitolina was her former on-court rival, four-times
champion Justine Henin.
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Djokovic reacts as the game continues under the rain.
What Henin thought of her charge Svitolina's performance is anyone's
guess but unlike the Belgian's often prickly encounters with
Williams, Wednesday's match ended with the two players sharing a
joke and a warm handshake at the net.
However, there will be no Williams family reunion at Roland Garros
this year after Timea Bacsinszky ambushed Serena's elder sister
Venus 6-2 6-4.
Venus arrived for her match on Suzanne Lenglen Court looking more
like a winter sport athlete than someone about to play a tennis
match on June 1 -- wearing leggings under her skirt and a long black
quilted jacket zipped up to her neck.
Once the match got going, she failed to warm up sufficiently as
Bacsinszky went on an eight game roll from 2-0 down in the first set
and kept up the run to dash dreams of a possible semi-final showdown
for the most celebrated sisters in sport.
She will next face Dutch outsider Kiki Berten's after she downed
American 15th seed Madison Keys 7-6(4) 6-3.
Serena will face another unexpected quarter-finalist in the shape of
Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva, who beat Spanish 12th seed Carla
(Reporting by Pritha Sarkar, editing by Ossian Shine)
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