Defending champion Novak Djokovic has bowed out of the French Open after suffering a straight-sets defeat to Dominic Thiem in the quarter finals of the tournament.
By Carlo Chikomba
Thiem was tenacious throughout the match, serving up some powerful hits that the Serbian simply had no response to as he succumbed to a 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 6-0 defeat in Paris.
Djokovic won the previous edition of the French Open title in 2016 to become the first man since 1969 to hold all four grand slam titles at the same time.
Since then, the 30 year old has tailed off rather dramatically as he has lost in the third round at Wimbledon, suffered defeat in the US Open final, and lost in round two at the Australian Open.
His poor form has seen him fail to progress past the last eight in Paris for the first time since 2010, an unwanted record for a man of his stature.
Speaking after the match, Djokovic admitted that the situation he now finds himself is quite unusual to him.
“The last couple of tournaments I have had some great tournaments and it was unfortunate to finish Roland Garros in this way,” said Djokovic.
“This is a whole new situation for me, not winning a big tournament for eight or nine months – this hasn’t happened for a while.”
Meanwhile, Thiem, the Austrian sixth seed who claimed a career first victory over Djokovic advances to the last four where he will face Rafael Nadal.
Nadal reached the semis after fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta was forced to withdraw from the match following an abdominal injury while trailing 6-2 2-0.
The Spanish fourth seed is aiming to continue his hot streak of trophy haul by attempting to win a record 10th title at Roland Garros after having become just the fifth man to reach 10 semi-finals at a single Grand Slam in the Open era.