Schwartzman downs Thiem in astonishing marathon

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Schwartzman downs Thiem in astonishing marathon

The huge shocks kept coming at the 2020 French Open as Diego Schwartzman sent Dominic Thiem packing in a brutal five-set marathon match. Thiem was considered a favourite by many for the title at Roland Garros after his recent triumph at Flushing Meadows and history of coming up just short at Roland Garros. But the 12th seed refused to be denied in a huge upset as he reached the semi-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time in quite sensational fashion. In a topsy-turvy match that lasted a staggering five hours and eight minutes, Schwartzman eventually clinched an emotional victory on Court Philippe Chatrier. The match had drama throughout, and even the opening set was both gripping and gruelling until Schwartzman dominated a bizarre tie-break 7-1. There were touches of controversy from the outset as rain interrupted play after organisers decided to not shut the roof which prompted delays, and both players were upset with the umpire over the conditions. Schwartzman also showed his displeasure with the umpire after a very debatable line call, and Thiem kicked on to win the second and third sets and reassert his ascendance. After the Austrian, who looked exhausted at times after his exploits in winning his maiden Grand Slam at the US Open in New York, took the third set tie-break 8-6 he was unable to hold his temporary command. Schwartzman seized his moment to clinch another breaker, 7-5, and take the epic match into a fifth and deciding set. The 28-year-old did not look back and lost just two games thereafter to close it out. "I was over the limit today," Austrian third seed Thiem, who had already come through a draining five-set encounter to knock out French wildcard Hugo Gaston in the previous round, told a news conference. "In the end I gave everything I had out there. It was an amazing match. I think the first in my career over five hours. Diego fully deserves it." The Argentine will now await the winner of second seed Rafael Nadal's quarter-final against Italian sensation Jannik Sinner in the last four with their match having been pushed back much later than planned. "I think if I would have wanted to win that match, I should have done it in four. In the fifth set, he was just a little bit more fresh and better than me," said Thiem, who said the pain of defeat was lessened by seeing a friend advance into the last four. "I'm happy for him. Maybe to lose against a friend hurts a little bit less, yeah," he said.