Djokovic knocked out in quarter-finals

Austria's Dominic Thiem in action during his fourth round match against Argentina's Horacio Zeballos Reuters  Christian Hartmann

Novak Djokovic effectively waved the white flag, bowing out of the French Open in the quarter-finals, with a whimper to Dominic Thiem.

PARIS (AP) - Novak Djokovic's French Open title defense ended with a surprisingly lopsided 7-6 (5), 6-3, 6-0 quarterfinal loss to sixth-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria on Wednesday.

Before Wednesday's win Djokovic had dropped just one set in five meetings with Thiem, and brushed aside the 23-year-old easily in last year's Roland Garros semi-finals.

RAFAEL Nadal's relentless push for a 10th French Open crown continues at lightning speed after the Spaniard reached a record 10th Roland Garros semi-final as Pablo Carreno Busta succumbed to injury. Roger Federer misses out injured, but Rafa Nadal, Andy Murray and defending champ Stan Wawrinka are all here. "Just pretty bad set". We'll see. On D-Day, we'll see if I can set my game up.

I'm very surprised - especially with the way how it ended. "Novak looked out of balance, uncomfortable, conditions were tough but usually that should favour the better player, the more experienced player". "It's a big challenge, but I'm up for it", added Djokovic. After beating Thiem on five previous occasions, Djokovic had no answer for the 23-year-old Austrian, who progressed in the tournament to set up a date with Rafael Nadal in Friday's semi-final. "I will get through it, learn the lessons and figure out how to get out of it".

Djokovic led 4-2 in what was a brutally physical first set lasting 73 minutes but played a poor game to hand Thiem the break back, serving two double faults.

"Tanking" is referred to in tennis when a player shows little or no enthusiasm to contest points, particularly when the match is of a one-sided nature.


In five matches at Roland Garros, Nadal has only spent eight hours on court.

Djokovic's backhand really let him down in the tiebreaker: All seven points won by Thiem ended with that stroke.

Similar to Djokovic, Murray entered the French Open in, for him, poor form.

Murray is in the semifinals in Paris for the fourth year in a row.

The 27-year-old player will now play unseeded Latvian Jelena Ostapenko, who stunned Danish 11 seed Caroline Wozniacki 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 for a place in the semi-finals.

The third seeded Romanian will face Czech Karolina Pliskova in the last four.

Wawrinka improved to 12-2 career against Cilic.

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