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How to watch Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic at French Open

June 2, 2011 | 11:37 am

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It happens every year. After nearly two weeks of watching live French Open tennis coverage on Tennis Channel and ESPN2, NBC jumps into the mix when play reaches the semifinals. And Friday that means tape-delay on the West Coast because NBC puts its broadcast on after the "Today Show" at 11 a.m. EDT and PDT.

It's a losing battle. The "Today Show" is coming on and live French Open tennis on your big screen is not. But NBC is making a concession Friday. You can watch NBC's coverage live on NBCsports.com, which will live-stream whatever matches it is showing.

Even fans in the East have complained in the past about missing something. Play begins at Roland Garros Friday at 5 a.m. PDT with the Rafael Nadal-Andy Murray semifinal and followed by the match between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

It is that second contest that is much anticipated. Djokovic has an unbeaten season going, 41-0 so far, and if he beats Federer, even if he doesn't win the title, Djokovic will be ranked No. 1 in the world next week. Federer, who turns 30 this year, is fighting the sense that his days of winning major tournaments are over. He hasn't won a Grand Slam title since the 2010 Australian Open but has been efficient so far in the French Open. Federer hasn't lost a set.

Tennis Channel is going to show the Nadal-Murray match live. NBCsports.com will live-stream the entire Federer-Djokovic match. In the East, NBC will either pick up with the finish of the Nadal-Murray match (Tennis Channel will be allowed to show the match in its entirety) or, if Federer and Djokovic have already started, NBC will pick up the match in progress. But NBCsports.com will start its live-stream whenever Federer and Djokovic hit the first ball.

In the West, it is possible, as has happened in the past, that by the time NBC puts tennis on at 11 a.m. there will be nothing live left in which case NBC will show the entire Federer-Djokovic on tape delay.

-- Diane Pucin

Photo: Roger Federer. Credit: Clive Brunskill / Getty Images.

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