Novak Djokovic Knocked Out of French Open, Nadal Cruises
Defending champion Novak Djokovic has been bundled out of the French Open following a straight-sets defeat by Dominic Thiem.
In extraordinary scenes at Roland Garros, the Serbian second seed didn’t know what hit him as aggressive play from Thiem saw him glide into the last four with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 6-0 victory.
The defeat means Djokovic, 29, has now surrendered all his majors having become the first man since 1969 to hold all four grand slam titles at the same time after triumphing at Roland Garros in 2016.
On resumption of play Wednesday morning following a rain delay, the world no 2 was unable to cope with the power of Thiem, who hit 38 winners in contrast to Djokovic’s 18.
It was a total reversal of the last time the two met three weeks ago in Rome, when an exhausted Thiem managed to win just a single game in their last-four clash.
After a brutal first set lasting 73 minutes, which Djokovic led 4-2 but a double-fault handed a break back before three terrible backhands gave his opponent the tie-break, Djokovic’s mental and physical vulnerability was then ruthlessly exposed as Thiem took the second before emphatically sealing the third to love to take the match.
It is the Austrian’s first victory over Djokovic and he will now play Rafael Nadal for a place in the final.
Nadal reached the semis after fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta withdrew from their match with an abdominal injury while trailing 6-2 2-0.
The 14-time major winner is aiming to win a record 10th title at Roland Garros, and a first Grand Slam since winning in Paris in 2014.