Thiem stuns Djokovic to reach semi-finals
07 Jun 2017 - 23:41
Paris: Defending champion Novak Djokovic crashed out of the French Open yesterday, sparking fresh fears over his appetite for the sport he once dominated as Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray made the semi-finals.
World number two Djokovic slumped to a stunning 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 6-0 quarter-final loss to Dominic Thiem for his earliest exit in Paris in seven years.
Nadal, chasing a 10th Roland Garros title, will face 23-year-old Thiem after making the last four without breaking sweat.
He was 6-2, 2-0 up on Pablo Carreno Busta when his Spanish compatriot quit with an abdominal injury.
Friday's other semi-final will pitch world number one Murray, the runner-up to Djokovic in 2016, against 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka.
Murray made the semi-finals for the fifth time with a 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7/0), 6-1 win over Japanese eighth seed Kei Nishikori.
Wawrinka became the oldest French Open semi-finalist in 32 years when he brushed aside Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-3, 6-1.
Djokovic, who had brought in Andre Agassi as coach in an effort to boost his flagging career, hinted he may step back from the sport to regroup even with Wimbledon fast approaching.
"Trust me, I'm thinking about many things, especially in the last couple months," he said.
"At the same time, I have responsibility to the game itself, towards others. We'll see. Obviously it's not an easy decision to make, but I will see how I feel after Roland Garros and then decide what to do next."
Austrian sixth seed Thiem is the only man to beat Nadal on clay this year -- his Rome quarter-final success offsetting losses in the final in Barcelona and Madrid.
"It's going to be the toughest match you can imagine," admitted the 23-year-old.
Fourth seed Nadal recorded his 100th best-of-five-sets victory on clay -- from just 102 matches.
He will be playing in his 10th semi-final in Paris and has made it having lost just 22 games through five matches.
Bjorn Borg surrendered just 32 games on his way to the 1978 French Open, but Nadal insisted he has no interest in such records.
"I don't know how many games I lost this year, but I really don't care about this. I only care that I am in the semi-finals," said Nadal. Murray advanced to his fourth straight semi-final in Paris, defeating Nishikori to avenge his loss to the Japanese star at the US Open last year.
The Scot set up a semi-final rematch with third seed Wawrinka after beating the Swiss in four sets at the same stage a year ago.
"He's played fantastic this tournament so far," Murray said of the 32-year-old, the oldest Roland Garros semi-finalist since Jimmy Connors in 1985.
Like Nadal and Thiem, Wawrinka has not lost a set on his way to a third successive semi-final at Roland Garros.
"It was perfect today, I'm very satisfied," said reigning US Open champion Wawrinka after a 12th win in 14 meetings with Cilic.