|Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts after winning his match against Richard Gasquet of France at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris May 29, 2011. (REUTERS/Charles Platiau)
PARIS, France -- Novak Djokovic received an unexpected gift on Monday at the French Open, as the undefeated Serb has advanced to the semifinals after his scheduled quarterfinal opponent, Fabio Fognini, withdrew because of an injury.
Fognini suffered a strained muscle in his left leg while beating Spain's Albert Montanes in the fourth round on Sunday. The Italian needed more than four hours to finish off Montanes in a five-set marathon that included an 11-9 fifth that went 95 minutes.
Djokovic won't play again until Friday and will await either Roger Federer or the winner between David Ferrer and Gael Monfils in the final four. In the quarterfinals, Federer will take on either Ferrer or Monfils, who will complete their fourth-round match on Monday after it was suspended because of darkness on Sunday.
Because of the unexpected walkover, Djokovic will need to win the French Open to set a new men's record for consecutive wins to start a calendar year. He has won his first 41 matches of 2011, including the title at the Australian Open, and needs one victory to match John McEnroe's 1984 mark of 42 straight wins to open the year.
Monday's fourth-round matches include five-time French champ Rafael Nadal against Croatian veteran Ivan Ljubicic, two-time runner-up Robin Soderling against French favorite Gilles Simon, fourth-seeded Andy Murray against Serbia's Viktor Troicki and Argentina's Juan Ignacio Chela against Colombia's Alejandro Falla.