Novak Djokovic implodes as stunning win sees Dominic Thiem reach semi-finals
Dominic Thiem v Novak Djokovic 7-6 (5), 6-3, 6-0

Novak Djokovic implodes as stunning win sees Dominic Thiem reach semi-finals

Novak Djokovic's French Open title defense ended with a surprisingly lopsided 7-6 (5), 6-3, 6-0 quarterfinal loss to sixth-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria on Wednesday.

A year ago, Djokovic became the first man in nearly a half century to claim a fourth consecutive major championship, and he completed a career Grand Slam at Roland Garros. But his form has dipped considerably since then, and he has gone four majors in a row without claiming a trophy.

Against Thiem, Djokovic was out of sorts in many ways.

He wasted two set points in the opener. He wound up with nearly twice as many unforced errors, 35, as winners, 18. His backhand was particularly problematic.

Known for tremendous footwork and court coverage, the No. 2-seeded Serb even stumbled and tumbled to the court, his racket flying out of his hands, early in the second set. Djokovic was left on his knees.

How unlikely was this result? Djokovic entered the day having won all five previous matches -- and 11 of 12 sets -- against Thiem, including in the French Open semifinals a year ago.

"It's amazing for me," Thiem said. "To beat him for the first time in the quarters of the French Open is a dream."

Plus, Djokovic had appeared in a record six consecutive semifinals in Paris.

Now the Thiem, 23, will face nine-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal.

"You have to play the best guys round after round," Thiem said. "It's not getting easier on Friday."

Thiem is a talented, up-and-coming player, to be sure, and he is the only man to beat Nadal in the Spaniard's 23 matches on clay in 2017. That came in the quarterfinals of the Italian Open last month.

Earlier Wednesday, Nadal reached his record 10th French Open semifinal when No. 20 Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain retired from their match early in the second set because of an injured abdominal muscle. Nadal led 6-2, 2-0 when Carreno Busta stopped.

Nadal has dropped only 22 games so far in the tournament, the fewest he has lost on the way to any of his 26 Grand Slam semifinal berths.

The other men's quarterfinals scheduled for later Wednesday are 2016 runner-up Andy Murray vs. No. 8 Kei Nishikori, and 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka vs. No. 7 Marin Cilic.

Betting on Tennis? Bet365 are offering a 100% deposit bonus, up to £200 - find out more

Related news

Marin Cilic races into Queen's quarter-finals

Marin Cilic races into Queen's quarter-finals

Marin Cilic has advanced to the quarter-finals at Queen's Club courtesy of a 6-0 6-4 win over unseeded American Stefan Kozlov.

Kei Nishikori retires injured at Halle as Wimbledon looms

Kei Nishikori retires injured at Halle as Wimbledon looms

World number nine Kei Nishikori's Wimbledon preparations suffered a setback on Thursday when he was forced to retire injured from his Halle Open round of 16 match against Russian Karen Khatchanov.

Lacklustre Johanna Konta crashes out of Aegon Classic in Birmingham

Lacklustre Johanna Konta crashes out of Aegon Classic in Birmingham

Johanna Konta once again failed to progress beyond the second round of the Aegon Classic on Thursday, as American CoCo Vandeweghe caused an upset for the Brit.

Svitolina pondering missing Wimbledon with foot injury after Birmingham defeat

Svitolina pondering missing Wimbledon with foot injury after Birmingham defeat

Elina Svitolina may skip Wimbledon because of a foot problem after she was knocked out of the Aegon Classic in Birmingham by Camila Giorgi on Thursday.

Roger Federer progresses to quarters after straight set victory over Mischa Zverev in Halle

Roger Federer progresses to quarters after straight set victory over Mischa Zverev in Halle

Roger Federer's Wimbledon plans looked to be back on course on Thursday after a straight sets 7-6(4) 6-4 victory over Mischa Zverev at the Halle Open.

Kvitova thorugh to quarters in straight sets win

Kvitova thorugh to quarters in straight sets win

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova continued her comeback with a 6-2 6-2 win over British wildcard Naomi Broady at the Aegon Classic on Wednesday.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga falls as Queen’s shocks continue

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga falls as Queen’s shocks continue

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga became the latest high-profile casualty at Queen’s as the fifth seed lost in straight sets to Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller in the second round.

Zverev beats Kohlschreiber to reach Halle quarter-finals

Zverev beats Kohlschreiber to reach Halle quarter-finals

Alexander Zverev continued his strong run of form ahead of Wimbledon by beating Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals of the Gerry Weber Open.

Robin Haase stuns second seed Thiem to reach Halle last eight

Robin Haase stuns second seed Thiem to reach Halle last eight

Dutchman Robin Haase shocked second seed Dominic Thiem 6-3 7-6(7) on Wednesday to reach the Halle Open quarter-finals and leave the Wimbledon warmup event without one of its biggest attractions.

RELATED NEWS

Marin Cilic races into Queen's quarter-finals
Marin Cilic v Stefan Kozlov 6-0 6-4

Marin Cilic races into Queen's quarter-finals

Marin Cilic has advanced to the quarter-finals at Queen's Club courtesy of a 6-0 6-4 win over unseeded American Stefan Kozlov.

Kei Nishikori retires injured at Halle as Wimbledon looms
Karen Khachanov v Kei Nishikori 3-2 (Nishikori retired)

Kei Nishikori retires injured at Halle as Wimbledon looms

World number nine Kei Nishikori's Wimbledon preparations suffered a setback on Thursday when he was forced to retire injured from his Halle Open round of 16 match against Russian Karen Khatchanov.

Lacklustre Johanna Konta crashes out of Aegon Classic in Birmingham
CoCo Vandeweghe v Johanna Konta 6-1 6-3

Lacklustre Johanna Konta crashes out of Aegon Classic in Birmingham

Johanna Konta once again failed to progress beyond the second round of the Aegon Classic on Thursday, as American CoCo Vandeweghe caused an upset for the Brit.

Svitolina pondering missing Wimbledon with foot injury after Birmingham defeat
Camila Giorgi v Elina Svitolina 6-4 4-6 6-2

Svitolina pondering missing Wimbledon with foot injury after Birmingham defeat

Elina Svitolina may skip Wimbledon because of a foot problem after she was knocked out of the Aegon Classic in Birmingham by Camila Giorgi on Thursday.

Roger Federer progresses to quarters after straight set victory over Mischa Zverev in Halle
Roger Federer v Mischa Zverev 7-6(4) 6-4

Roger Federer progresses to quarters after straight set victory over Mischa Zverev in Halle

Roger Federer's Wimbledon plans looked to be back on course on Thursday after a straight sets 7-6(4) 6-4 victory over Mischa Zverev at the Halle Open.

Kvitova thorugh to quarters in straight sets win
Petra Kvitova v Naomi Broady 6-2 6-2

Kvitova thorugh to quarters in straight sets win

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova continued her comeback with a 6-2 6-2 win over British wildcard Naomi Broady at the Aegon Classic on Wednesday.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga falls as Queen’s shocks continue
Gilles Muller v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4 6-4

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga falls as Queen’s shocks continue

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga became the latest high-profile casualty at Queen’s as the fifth seed lost in straight sets to Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller in the second round.

Zverev beats Kohlschreiber to reach Halle quarter-finals
Alexander Zverev v Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3 6-4

Zverev beats Kohlschreiber to reach Halle quarter-finals

Alexander Zverev continued his strong run of form ahead of Wimbledon by beating Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals of the Gerry Weber Open.

Robin Haase stuns second seed Thiem to reach Halle last eight
Robin Haase v Dominic Thiem 6-3 7-6(7)

Robin Haase stuns second seed Thiem to reach Halle last eight

Dutchman Robin Haase shocked second seed Dominic Thiem 6-3 7-6(7) on Wednesday to reach the Halle Open quarter-finals and leave the Wimbledon warmup event without one of its biggest attractions.