Novak Djokovic stunned by Dominic Thiem in French Open quarterfinals
No. 2-seed Novak Djokovic is out of the French Open after No. 6-seed Dominic Thiem beat the defending champion 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-0 on Wednesday in the quarterfinals.
It was a convincing victory for 23-year-old Thiem, who fought hard in the first set tiebreak against Djokovic, winning in 73 minutes, but ran away with the match in the next two sets. He advanced to the semifinals after two hours and 15 minutes, hitting 38 winners to Djokovic's 18 and 28 unforced errors to Djokovic's 35 on the match.
"All in all, it was decided I think in the first set," Djokovic said after the match. "You know, I tried. I lost that crucial break in the beginning of the second, and he started serving better, backing it up with the first shot. He deserved to win. He was definitely the better player on the court today."
Djokovic will drop out of the world's top two rankings for the first time since July 2011. His last Grand Slam title came a year ago at Roland Garros.
"For me, it's a whole new situation that I'm facing, especially in the last seven, eight months, not winning any tournament, which hasn't happened in many years," Djokovic said of his struggles during the 2017 season. "All the top players have been through that. So I guess you've got to go through it, try to learn your lessons and figure out the way, how to get out of it stronger. It's a big challenge, but I'm up for it."
With the win, Thiem avenged his loss to Djokovic last month in the Rome semifinals. He moves into his second Grand Slam semifinal and second semifinal at Roland Garros, where he will play Rafael Nadal.
"It’s amazing for me, I was 0-5 against him. To beat him for the first time in the quarterfinal of a Grand Slam… it’s a dream," Thiem said after the match. "It was tricky today. A lot of wind, it was colder. It was important to move well and hit clean, and I did that today...It’s amazing how difficult it is to go deep in a Grand Slam because you have to play the best guys round after round and it’s not getting easier on Friday."