French Open 2019: Stand-out stats for a unique schedule – all four semi-finals on one day in Paris
There are milestones and records aplenty on the line ahead of the men's and women's semi-finals
It is a rare occasion when all four singles semi-finals of a Major are played on the same day—or at least are scheduled to play on the same day.
But that is what will happen at the French Open this year, and perhaps for the last time. For this is the last year that the tournament will be without a roof over any of its courts—and it is the last of the Majors to have none at all.
Much will depend upon the weather—which got Roland Garros into this unique situation in the first place—and storms are forecast to sweep across Paris during one of the most exciting schedules in many a year.
On the men’s side, all four of the top seeds will contest a final place for the first time in a decade, while on the women’s side, the picture is entirely different, with not a former Major finalist nor a former No1 among their number.
But in both cases, there are milestones and records aplenty on the line. Here are just a few to whet the appetite for the day of four semi-finals.
The men’s semi-finals
· The top four seeds fill the four semi-final spots in the men’s singles at Roland Garros for the first time since 2011, when No1 seed Rafael Nadal, No2 Novak Djokovic, No3 Roger Federer, and No4 Andy Murray all reached the last four.
· And it is the first time the top four seeds have contested any Major since the 2013 Australian Open, when No1 Djokovic, No2 Federer, No3 Murray and No4 David Ferrer all reached the semis.
· The last time Federer, Nadal and Djokovic were all in the semis of a Major together was here in 2012.
· Federer, Djokovic and Nadal top the list for most Major match-wins in history, 347, 270, and 258 respectively.
· Djokovic is aiming to become the second man in history to hold all for Major titles at the same time on two separate occasions, and the first man in the Open Era to win each of the four Majors twice (Rod Laver spanned both eras with his two calendar Slams).
· The winner of the Federer and Nadal semi will guarantee the No2 ranking next week.
· Djokovic has won 12 of his last 13 matches against top-five opponents at the Majors.
· Nadal is bidding to become the first player in history to win 12 singles titles at any Major event.
· Federer, who turns 38 in August, could become the oldest Roland Garros singles finalist in the Open Era.
· Nadal and Federer first met at a Major in the semi-finals here in 2005.
· This is the 16th clay court meeting between Federer and Nadal, but their first since the final at the 2013 Rome Masters. However, Nadal is bidding to end a five-match losing streak against Federer
· Federer is bidding to win a second Roland Garros title 10 years after his first in 2009, and set the record for longest gap before winning a second at a Major in the Open Era.
· Thiem, at No4, is enjoying his highest ever Major seeding, and he has never contested a five-set match at Roland Garros.
The women’s semi-finals
· The final four in the women’s semi-finals this year, Ashleigh Barty, Johanna Konta, Amanda Anisimova, and Marketa Vondrousova, had won just three matches between them in Paris before the start of this year’s tournament.
· Amanda Anisimova is the first player born after 2000 to reach the semi-final at a Major.
· With Anisimova (17) and Vondrousova (19) reaching the semi-finals, it is the first time in nearly 10 years that two teenagers have made the last four at a Major.
· The last time two teenagers reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros was 2001, when Justine Henin, 19, fell to fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters, 18, who went on to become runner-up to Jennifer Capriati.
· Should Anisimova and Vondrousova win their semis, it will set the first teenage final in a Major since a 17-year-old Serena Williams beat 18-year-old Martina Hingis at the US Open in 1999.
· It is 41 years since a Major semi-final line-up comprised four players without a Major final appearance between them.
· The average age of the four semi-finalists is 21.8, the youngest at a Major since Wimbledon 2011.
· Konta is the only one of the remaining four women to have reached a Major semi-final before—twice.
· Konta entered this season with just seven main-draw clay court wins across her entire career. She now tops the leader-board for clay court wins in 2019.
· Konta is the first British woman to reach the semis of Roland Garros since Jo Durie in 1983, and she is bidding to be the first British woman to reach to final since Sue Barker in 1976.