The Latest: Tournament director says 1 person hurt by panel
PARIS (AP) The Latest from the French Open:
Tournament director Gilbert Ysern says one person was injured by the 3-meter-long (about 9-feet-long) metal panel that fell off a giant television screen above Court Philippe Chatrier during a match.
The tournament issued an earlier statement saying three people were hurt, but Ysern says at a news conference that two of the three taken to get checked at an infirmary were fine. The third had a wrist injury and was taken to a hospital.
Ysern says an investigation is being opened to determine exactly what happened to the panel, in place to protect the TV screen from pigeon droppings.
”Roland, je t’aime,” wrote Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on the red clay, using the sole of his right shoe. Then he got down on the court, on his back, with arms and legs spread apart, as 15,000 or so of his closest friends stood and roared their approval.
”I love you, Roland,” it meant, a thank you to the French Open fans who willed their countryman Tsonga to a 6-1, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3 victory over No. 5-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan in the quarterfinals.
Tsonga, seeded 14th, moved into his second semifinal at Roland Garros, and his sixth at a major.
He’ll face Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka on Friday for a spot in the final. Not tough to guess who will be the crowd favorite at Court Philippe Chatrier.
Kei Nishikori has a second wind at the French Open.
The Japanese seemed headed for the exit, down 6-1, 5-2, before a piece of metal paneling crashed in strong winds onto spectators, interrupting his quarterfinal against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
When play resumed about 40 minutes later, Nishikori still lost the second set 6-4. But he then found a new gear and new resolve to take the next two sets 6-4, 6-3.
If he wins, Nishikori will become the first Japanese man in 82 years to contest a French Open semifinal.
The decisive fifth set is underway.
Au revoir, Roger.
For the third year in a row, Roger Federer is gone from the French Open before the semifinals.
This time, he bows out in the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (4) loss to his pal and Swiss Davis Cup teammate Stan Wawrinka.
Federer had won 16 of their previous 18 matchups, but 2014 Australian Open champion Wawrinka was in control from the start of this one.
Federer’s collection of 17 Grand Slam titles includes the 2009 French Open, part of a stretch where he made it to at least the semifinals seven times in eight years.
Back to the tennis.
Roger Federer and Kei Nishikori are both on the ropes at the French Open, both down two sets in their respective quarterfinals.
On center court, Nishikori’s opponent, Jo Wilfried-Tsonga, is looking as comfy as a cat on a sofa. Nishikori’s chances of becoming the first Japanese man in 82 years to reach the French Open semis are evaporating fast on this warm, but very windy Parisian spring day. Tsonga is up 6-1, 6-4.
Federer is down 6-4, 6-3 to Stan Wawrinka on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
Video posted on Twitter here of the falling sheet of metal: https://twitter.com/TrudelSteph/status/605755296309485568
Drama over, seemingly with no big harm done.
Kei Nishikori and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are back on the center court in their French Open quarterfinal that was suspended for about 40 minutes after a large piece of metal paneling fell off a giant TV screen in strong winds onto spectators below.
Spectators are trickling back into an area of seating that was temporarily evacuated and closed off while a man climbed onto the giant screen to inspect the back of it.
Security guards are evacuating spectators – more than 200 of them – from seats under the giant TV screen that shed a large piece of metal paneling in strong winds on the French Open center court during a quarterfinal Tuesday. They also are cordoning off the seating area with red and white tape.
A man is also inspecting the back of the giant screen, used to project match scores and television highlights.
Quarterfinalists Kei Nishikori and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga have been biding their time, waiting to resume their quarterfinal. Tsonga is leading 5-2 in the second set having taken the first set 6-1.
First-aid workers are assisting a spectator who appears to have been lightly injured by a large piece of paneling that fell off a giant TV screen at the French Open’s center court in strong winds, holding up the quarterfinal between Kei Nishikori and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
First aiders evacuated the man, holding his right wrist. He appeared to be otherwise unscathed, lifting his left arm to wave to the crowd on Court Philippe Chatrier.
The piece of paneling, larger than a bed, crashed down with a bang from a giant screen that overlooks the clay court. It was unclear what caused it to detach, but the wind has been blowing strongly.
The match has been temporarily suspended, and both players have left the court to return to the locker room. A stadium announcer has just announced that the delay will last at least another 10 minutes.
Reverberations of soccer’s corruption and bribery scandal are being felt at the French Open, with spectators holding up a sign calling for the ouster of FIFA President Sepp Blatter.
Our Associated Press photographer David Vincent spotted the ”Out Blatter” sign during Lucie Safarova’s quarterfinal victory against Garbine Muguruza.
You can see his photo here: http://www.apimages.com/metadata/Index/France-Tennis-French-Open-/c618c808724044fdb6af665f4ce86c6d/2/0
Lucie Safarova is through to her first French Open semifinal, with a hard-won 7-6 (3), 6-3 quarterfinal win against Garbine Muguruza.
Safarova broke Muguruza in the second game of the second set, but was broken straight back in the next game. Safarova then saved a break point with a forehand winner in the fifth game and then broke Muguruza in the sixth game.
Safarova closed out the match with a clean forehand winner.
”First time is `wow,”’ Safarova said of the prospect of her first semifinal at Roland Garros. She will play the 2008 champion, Ana Ivanovic.
”I’m so excited,” she said. ”Amazing.”
She also was a semifinalist at Wimbledon last year.
Ana Ivanovic is the first player to reach the semifinals at the French Open this year.
The 2008 champion hit a flurry of winners to complete a 6-3, 6-2 win over Elina Svitolina, a 20-year-old from Ukraine who was playing her first quarterfinal at a Grand Slam.
This will be the first semifinal at a major tournament for 27-year-old Ivanovic, ranked seventh, since she won her sole Grand Slam title in Paris.
In a match of power hitting from the baseline, Lucie Safarova has taken the first set of a closely contested French Open quarterfinal against Garbine Muguruza, winning the tiebreaker 7-3 after neither player broke the other’s serve in 12 games.
Muguruza saved four break points in the seventh game and two more in the 11th game. Safarova pulled away in the tiebreaker, to 3-1, with a forehand winner to end a 26-shot rally.
Ana Ivanovic is hammering Elina Svitolina with her big forehands on the French Open’s center court.
After they traded breaks early on in extremely windy conditions, Ivanovic raced through the opening set of their quarterfinal in 39 minutes, securing another break in the fourth game. The 2008 champion sealed the set 6-3 by holding at love.
Of the 256 men and women who started the French Open, just 16 are left.
Most of the quarterfinalists are big names: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Serena Williams. Others could become big by upsetting the tennis hierarchy to reach and – why not? – even win the finals, almost within touching distance now this coming weekend.
Elina Svitolina is a young player to watch, on unfamiliar ground in her first Grand Slam quarterfinal. The 20-year-old from Ukraine, ranked 21st, is out first on Court Philippe Chatrier against an already established star: 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic. The former No. 1 is again watched by her beau, soccer star Bastian Schweinsteiger, a 2014 World Cup winner with Germany.
Against Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, U.S. Open finalist Kei Nishikori is looking to become the first Japanese man in 82 years to reach a French semifinal. They play after Svitolina vs. Ivanovic on the center court.
On Court Suzanne Lenglen, Garbine Muguruza has previously played in just one Grand Slam quarterfinal and Lucie Safarova has played two. Following them is a megastar for whom this is old hat: Federer. The winner of a record 17 major titles plays 2014 Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka.
The first sets are underway.