French Open Roundup | Dominic Thiem shocks Novak Djokovic; Andy Murray to face Stan Wawrinka in the semis
Dominic Thiem registered a stunning 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 6-0 over Novak Djokovic and will take on Rafael Nadal in the semi-final of the French Open. Andy Murray will square up against Stan Wawrinka in the other semifinal after overcoming Kei Nishikori who dazzled early only to fizzle out.
Going into his quarterfinal encounter against Djokovic, Thiem possessed a dismal 0-5 head to head record against the Serbian. However, his ongoing run at the French Open meant that this was his best chance to register his first win against Djokovic. And Thiem made the most of the opportunity as he handed Djokovic his earliest exit in Paris in seven years.
What made the Austrian’s win even more impressive was the manner in which he overcame Djokovic. After a hard-fought first set where he held his nerve, the world no. 7 Thiem eased past last year’s winner in the next two sets. Moreover, Wednesday's defeat to Thiem was Djokovic's first straight-sets loss at a major in four years and the loss also saw Djokovic suffer a first 6-0 'bagel' at a Slam since the 2005 US Open. More importantly, the defeat will also see the former world no.1 slip out of the world's top two for the first time in six years.
Djokovic’s latest loss calls into question his appetite for the game and the Serbian admitted that he has been thinking of the road ahead. "Trust me, I'm thinking about many things, especially in the last couple months. "At the same time, I have
Having said this, Djokovic also mentioned that he is up for the challenge to return to his previous best. "All the top players go through this. It's a big challenge but I am up for it," he declared. Thiem will take on Nadal in the semi-final after Nadal was up 6-2, 2-0 up on Pablo Carreno Busta when his Spanish compatriot quit with an abdominal injury.
Meanwhile, in the other quarter-final, world no.1 Andy Murray recovered from a set down to beat Kei Nishikori 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7/0), 6-1. Murray will take on Stan Wawrinka in the semi-finals after the Swiss beat Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-3, 6-1, to become the oldest French Open semi-finalist in 32 years. Speaking of Wawrinka ahead of their semi-final meeting, Murray said, "He's played fantastic this tournament so far."
In the women’s section, Romanian Simona Halep recovered from a set down and also saved a match point to beat Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina 3-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-0, while Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic beat home favourite Caroline Garcia 7-6 (7/3), 6-4.