French Open 2019: Dominic Thiem ends Novak Djokovic Grand Slam hopes


World number one Novak Djokovic’s bid to hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time was ended by Dominic Thiem in the French Open semi-final.

Dominic Thiem beat the 32-year-old 6-2 3-6 7-5 5-7 7-5 in the semi-final, which began on Friday but was interrupted by bad weather three times.

The fourth seed will face 11-time champion Rafael Nadal on Sunday, a repeat of last year’s final.
Thiem, 25, is the first Austrian player to reach a second Grand Slam final.

“It was an unbelievable day for me,” said Thiem, who had never beaten a world number one at a major before.

Friday’s play was suspended once, then cancelled because of wind and rain in a move criticised by former players and journalists., who pointed out that the skies later cleared with daylight still left.

Nadal’s semi-final win over Roger Federer took place earlier on Friday so was not affected by the suspension, while Thiem wrapped up victory on Saturday afternoon after the third break in play because of rain.

For Djokovic, who had won 26 Grand Slam matches in a row, defeat ended his hopes of becoming the first man in the Open era to hold all four major titles at once on two separate occasions.

The final may go differently this year as Thiem has a new coach havinge started working with Chilean Olympic gold medallist Nicolas Massu three months ago.
Thiem, who was playing his fourth semi-final at Roland Garros, can also take confidence from his win against Nadal on clay at the Barcelona Open in April.

The world number four went on to win his 13th tour title at the tournament and reached the semi-finals in Madrid in May before losing to Djokovic.

The French Open is Thiem’s most successful Grand Slam. He reached the US Open quarter-final in 2018 but has never made it past the fourth round at Wimbledon or the Australian Open.

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