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  • Defending champion Novak Djokovic out of the French Open as brilliant Dominic Thiem sets up Rafael Nadal clash

    Reporter: Aditya Soni
    Published: Wednesday, 7 June 2017
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    Defending champion Novak Djokovic has crashed out of the French Open after a fabulous display from Dominic Thiem.

    The second seed fell to the man he beat in the semi-finals in 2016, with the Austrian winning 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 6-0 to participate in the last-four of a Grand Slam for just the second time in his career.

    Djokovic had reached the final in every year since 2014 but was simply second best on Suzanne-Lenglen.
    Thiem will now face Rafael Nadal and he remains the only man to have beaten the Spaniard on clay in 2017.

    To do it again, though – over five sets at Roland Garros – would take something really quite special.

    Djokovic had outlined the world No. 7 as one of his pre-tournament favourites, despite tearing him apart in the semi-finals of the Italian Open.

    This match was a far cry from their last meeting, where Thiem was humbled 6-1 6-0 in Rome and the Austrian maintained his record of not dropping a set.

    Thiem had already won more games inside the opening three games than he managed in the entirety of his last contest with Djokovic, breaking the Serb in his second service game for a 2-1 lead.

    However, Djokovic immediately hit back, with plenty of lengthy exchanges from the baseline making it an enticing watch.

    It was Djokovic’s turn to see a break quickly evaporate after he’d moved 4-2 up, with a couple of big shanks gifting the sixth seed a way back into the first set before some big groundstrokes on his own serve saw him level at 4-4.

    The pair could only be split by a tiebreak, ultimately, with Thiem coming out on top in a set that lasted more than one-and-a-quarter hours.


    Thiem took the momentum of winning the opener into the second and moved 3-0 up in no time at all.
    The break was all he required for a two-set lead, with Djokovic unable to overturn the deficit.
    Thiem again snatched a double break at the start of the third and he secured the biggest Grand Slam win of his career in style.


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