The world No.1 Novak Djokovic was stopped in his quest for a fourth straight Grand Slam victory by Dominic Thiem (4th), winner 6-2, 3-6, 7-5, 5-7, 7-5 , Saturday in the semifinals of Roland Garros, after a match of 4 hours and 13 minutes, played over two days and chopped by the rain.
Dominic Thiem, last season's finalist, will play on Sunday with Rafael Nadal, who on Friday beat Roger Federer 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
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Djokovic's defeat puts an end to his quest for a grand slam over two seasons, which was only two wins after his titles at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2018, and at the Open from Australia in January, and who had already achieved it for the first time in his career, between 2015 and 2016. Even Federer and Nadal, the two most decorated players in Grand Slam history (20 and 17 respectively), have broken their teeth on this extremely rare feat in the history of tennis. Only the American Donald Budge, in 1938, and the Australian Rod Laver, in 1962 and 1969, did better by completing the Grand Slam on the same season, but in their day, all the major tournaments, with the exception of Roland Garros, played on grass.
A final chopped by the weather
The semifinal between Djokovic and Thiem stretched over two days and was chopped into four pieces due to the weather conditions. Begun Friday afternoon, it was interrupted briefly for the first time, then postponed until Saturday when both players had each won a set (6-2, 3-6) and the Austrian had the advantage 3 games to 1 in the third inning.
Back on court Philippe-Chatrier at midday Saturday, Djokovic and Thiem were once again sent back to the locker room after a little over two hours of play while the Austrian was only two games away. a prestigious victory and to afford a second consecutive final at Roland Garros: the game was interrupted at 4-1 in his favor, 40-40 on the service of Djokovic.
After a little over an hour of interruption, the Serb with fifteen major trophies spread a second ball of 5-1, reduced the gap to 4-3, but found himself back to the wall when Thiem has new breakaway (5-3) and got two first match points. The Austrian then chained four direct faults allowing "Djoko" to believe again. But the world number 1 finally cracked, at 6-5 on his service, the third match point of Thiem, converted with a final right shot winner. The 2019 final will be a reissue of the one of a year ago, between Nadal and Thiem. The Spanish champion then won 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.