PARIS, June 7, 2017
Dominic Thiem headlined Wednesday morning’s quarterfinal action at Roland-Garros, knocking defending champion Novak Djokovic on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
The 23-year-old Austrian dominated the encounter, hitting 38 winners and broke serve six times. Thiem didn’t struggle and kept up a high level of intensity to secure a 7-6, 6-3, 6-0 victory in two hours and 15 minutes.
“To beat him for the first time in the quarters of the French Open is a dream. Thank you for a great atmosphere it was fun to play here, thank you,” Thiem told during his on-court interview.
“It was tricky today with the wind, and it was colder than previous days, it was important to move well, and I think I did that today.
“It’s amazing how difficult it is to go deep in a Grand Slam, you play the best games round after round, and it’s not getting easier against Rafa Nadal on Friday!”
Djokovic, produced 35 unforced errors and will drop out of the world’s top two for the first time since July 2011.
“It’s hard to comment the third set. Obviously nothing was going my way and everything his way. Just pretty bad set. All in all, it was decided I think in the first set. I tried but 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 had to admit.
About his further plans with Andre Agassi, Djokovic said:
“We’re gonna try to get together in Wimbledon but that’s all for now. I was planning to play only Wimbledon. I might play a leadup grass court event; I might not. I’m not really sure right now.”
Thiem will take on Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals. The 31-year-old Spaniard benefited from the retirement of fellow countryman and 20th seed Pablo Carreno Busta, who suffered a left abdominal muscle injury, trailing 2-6, 0-2.
“Sorry for him. He was playing great. He had a great event. It is tough when these kind of things happen, but he had a great week,” Nadal told afterwards.
Carreno Busta was obviously disappointed.
“I can’t remember whether it was 15-30 or 30-15. So I started to serve and then, at 30-All, I hit the serve very hard. And I felt an acute pain in my abdominals. It’s impossible to win against Rafa without your serve, without being 100 per cent. So it was a complicated situation. I didn’t want to overdo it, and I tried to limit the damage. I don’t want to have a torn muscle,” Carreno Busta explained.