French Open: Thiem moves on but Djokovic crashes out

Dominic Thiem used to illustrate the story. [Photo credit: Daily Express]

Dominic Thiem made it three consecutive semi-final qualifications on Tuesday as he dispatched an injured Alex Zverev 6-4 6-2 6-1 in one hour and 47 minutes. But former World No.1, Novak Djokovic was sent crashing by unseeded Italian, Marco Cecchinato, in four sets 6-3 7-6 1-6 7-6.

Thiem became the first Austrian to make three semi-finals of a Grand Slam and revealed in the post-match interview he is hoping to take the next step.

“The third time in semi-finals it sounds amazing. When I was young or a junior I never expected this but I think when I reach for the third time it’s time for more and I will give everything to make one more step this year. ”

Cecchinato ranked No.72 in the world had never won a Grand Slam match prior to landing at Roland Garros in 2018 but is now through to the semi-finals where he will face Thiem, whom he beat in 2013 on the Challenger Circuit.

“I won the last match against Thiem, I think, I remember this match, it was the final in one Future” – though he conveniently forgot to mention that he lost to Thiem in 2014.

Cecchinato continued: “Why not? I want to believe I can also beat Dominic Thiem.”

But for Djokovic, he stands at a quandary. At the post-match conference, he spoke sparingly and almost in shock. “I don’t know – I’m just not thinking about tennis at the moment,” he answered after he was asked what his next action would be.

There are two quarterfinal matches today – hot favourite, Rafael Nadal is up against the dynamic Diego Schwartzman and the fourth quarter-final is between two big hitters in Marin Cilic and Juan Martin Del Potro.

In the women’s draw, two Americans – Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens – are through and will meet in the first semi-final – a rematch of the 2017 US Open, which Stephens won.

The other semifinalists will be decided this afternoon. Garbine Muguruza takes on Maria Sharapova while world No.1, Simona Halep, is up against Angelique Kerber.

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