French Open 2017

French Open 2017, the semi-finals: Records and milestones at stake for Nadal, Murray, Wawrinka and Thiem

There is plenty at stake for the four semi-finalists at the 2017 French Open in Paris

rafael nadal
Rafael Nadal will take on Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals Photo: Marianne Bevis

Four of the seven top-ranked men in tennis, all former semi-finalists, are about to play their hearts out for a place in Sunday’s French Open final.

In the Race to London, with the tour approaching the half-way stage of the season, three of these men are among the top four: Rafael Nadal at the top, Dominic Thiem at No3, and Stan Wawrinka at No4. The fourth man, Andy Murray, is of course the overall No1 in the world.

No arguments, then, about the quality of the line-up, even if there remains plenty of debate about which of the quartet will win the title.

Here then, as an hors d’oeuvre to a day that promises some cordon bleu tennis, are some of the milestones on the line as four become two at Roland Garros.

· For the first time at Roland Garros in the Open era, three of the final four men have made the semis without dropping a set.

· The average age of the four semi-finalists, at 29 years 105 days, is the second highest in the Open era at Roland Garros (after 1968).

· Murray, Wawrinka and Nadal are all over 30, equalling the Open era record for a Major semi-final (with 1968 French and Australian Opens).

· In a repeat of last year’s semi-final against Wawrinka, Murray aims to become the seventh man in the Open era to reach the finals at all four Majors on multiple occasions.

· In the other semi-final, Nadal and Thiem meet for the fourth tournament in a row: Nadal won in the Barcelona and Madrid finals, Thiem won in the Madrid quarters.

· 2015 champion Wawrinka, age 32, aims to become the oldest Roland Garros finalist since 1973.

· Nadal and Thiem top the season’s list for clay-court wins with 22 apiece.

· Thiem aims to become just the third man to beat Nadal on clay on three or more occasions—along with Novak Djokovic and Gaston Gaudio.

· Murray is aiming to win his 40th match at Roland Garros and become the second British man in history to reach multiple French Open finals (with Fred Perry).

· By reaching the semis here, Wawrinka has reached three straight Major semis for the first time in his career and is aiming to become the third man in the Open era to win three Major titles after turning 30 (with Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall).

· Nadal is bidding to become the third man in history to make 10 appearances in the final a one Major event (with Bill Tilden and Roger Federer).

· Murray is the only British player, man or woman, to reach five French Open semi-finals.

· Nadal is aiming to reach his 22nd Major final to rank second all-time behind Federer.

· Thiem is aiming to become the youngest Roland Garros finalist since Nadal in 2008.

· Nadal has won the most matches and most titles in Roland Garros history: a 77-2 win-loss record and nine titles. If he wins the 2017 title, he will become only the second player in history (with Margaret Court) to win 10 titles at one Major.

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