Paris, France (4E Sports) – Second seed and 2012 runner-up Novak Djokovic defeated eighth seed Milos Raonic, 7-5, 7-6(5), 6-4, Tuesday for a spot in the semifinal of the French Open.
Djokovic hit 39 winners and committed 19 unforced errors for victory in two hours and 22 minutes. Raonic fired down 21 aces, but won just 29 per cent of his second serves.
With the win, Djokovic moved two victories away from reclaiming No. 1 in the ranking and becoming the eighth man in tennis history to complete the career Grand Slam.
By reaching the semifinals, Djokovic will return to No. 1 unless Rafael Nadal wins his ninth Roland Garros title.
The 27-year-old Djokovic has lost one set – versus Marin Cilic in the third round – en route to his 22nd Grand Slam championship semi-final and sixth at Roland Garros.
Standing in Djokovic’s way is No. 18 Ernests Gulbis, who defeated No. 6 seed Tomas Berdych in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, to reach his first Grand Slam semifinal.
On the women’s side, former champion and seventh seed Maria Sharapova came from behind to beat Garbine Muguruza, 1-6, 7-5, 6-1, for a semifinal berth.
Sharapova trailed 6-1, 5-4 against Muguruza before catching fire, winning nine of the last 10 games to advance against Eugenie Bouchard, who bear Carla Suarez Navarro, 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, 7-5.
Bouchard is 0-2 lifetime against Sharapova, including a straight-set second-round French Open loss last year.