Paris: They have taken very different routes to get there but Ernests Gulbis and Novak Djokovic will meet in the semi-finals of the French Open.
Ernests Gulbis and Novak Djokovic
Gulbis followed up his victory over Roger Federer by thumping sixth seed Tomas Berdych 6-3 6-2 6-4 while Djokovic saw off Milos Raonic 7-5 7-6 (7/5) 6-4.
The pair have known each other for more than a decade dating back to their days at Niki Pilic's academy in Munich. Both had obvious talent but, while this will be Djokovic's 15th semi-final from the last 16 grand slams, Gulbis will be playing in his first. Had the 25-year-old Latvian followed his friend's advice, it might have been a very different story.
"He was really professional already at that time," Gulbis recalled of their time together in Germany. "I remember we had a friend, a Croatian guy, who was all about the girls at that age already. He was dressing up.
He was looking good, putting on perfume, sunglasses, going to talk to the girls. I see Novak, he's going to stretch. And Novak told me that, 'Yeah, you can have anybody, you can have all the girls in the world."