Thiem knocks out Djokovic to set up final with Nadal

Sunday, 2019-06-09 06:37:02
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Austria's Dominic Thiem and Serbia's Novak Djokovic great each other after their semifinal match - Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 8, 2019. (Reuters)
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Austrian Dominic Thiem crushed Novak Djokovic's French Open hopes as he survived a weather-ravaged semi-final spanning 24 hours to complete a 6-2 3-6 7-5 5-7 7-5 victory on Saturday and set up a repeat of last year's showdown with Rafael Nadal.

More than an hour after the women's final should have started on another stormy day on Court Philippe Chatrier, fourth seed Thiem thumped a forehand winner past Djokovic to seal victory after squandering two earlier match points.

It snapped Djokovic's 26-match winning streak in Grand Slam matches and ended the Serbian's hopes of holding all four of the sport's major prizes simultaneously for the second time, having achieved it by winning his only French Open in 2016.

Djokovic, who had trailed 6-2 3-6 3-1 overnight after the semi-final had been curtailed on Friday because of rain and wind, had won his previous 10 Grand Slam semi-finals.

The world number one had looked serene throughout the fortnight, not dropping a set, but in "hurricane" conditions he described as the "worst he had ever played in" he was blown off course by the ferocious hitting of Thiem.

The 25-year-old, who lost to Nadal in last year's final, handled the elements better as he kept alive his dream of winning a first major title when he takes on the 11-times champion again on Sunday.

On the women’s side, Ashleigh Barty, the Australian who ditched tennis to play professional cricket for a year, smashed Marketa Vondrousova for six on Saturday to lift the French Open crown at Roland Garros.

Australia's Ashleigh Barty celebrates with the trophy after winning the final against Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic. (Reuters)

Boasting a bewildering array of shots and spins, the eighth seed crushed her Czech teenage opponent 6-1 6-3 to win her first Grand Slam title, and Australia’s first French women’s singles crown in more than four decades.

Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies of Germany claimed their first Grand Slam title when they beat France’s Fabrice Martin and Jeremy Chardy 6-2 7-6(3) in the doubles final on Saturday.