Thiem defeats Djokovic in five to set up Nadal clash

Thiem defeats Djokovic in five to set up Nadal clash

08/06/2019

Dominic Thiem defeated Novak Djokovic in five sets on Saturday 6-2, 3-6, 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 to set up a rematch of last year's clash with Rafa Nadal in the French Open final.

Thiem showed his ability to stay in long rallies against the world number one, and despite some poor errors he showed enough class, and took advantage of some luck, to reach the final in Paris.

Resuming in the third set after leaving the court on Friday due to the weather conditions Djokovic looked to be in a far better place than he was the day before as he quickly broke Thiem.

However the Austrian dug in, winning a couple of superb rallies, and he held serve to reach 6-5, putting the pressure on Djokovic.

Djokovic, in the headlines for complaining on Friday, then drew more attention to himself as he had an argument with the chair umpire.

"Well done, well done man. You've earned yourself a name," Djokovic said as he earned himself a warning for taking too much time on his serve.

Thiem benefitted from a couple of slices of luck with the net helping him on more than one occasion, with one of those seeing him secure a critical break back in the fourth game of the fourth set.

Djokovic, much the better player for most of the morning, started to put pressure on Thiem and the Austrian began to make a few unforced errors as the game tightened up again.

A double fault from Thiem saw Djokovic break and then serve to level up and force a deciding set.

Thiem missed the chance for an early break despite a barely believable slice across the net but the net came to his aid again in the fourth as he found that break and went 3-1 ahead.

However the break, combined with a contentious call on the first point after the delay, seemed to reinvigorate something in Djokovic as he amped up his already effective tactic of charging to the net, volleying brilliantly when there.

He served out and then found a break that made it look as if the momentum of the match would completely swing a double fault played a part of a terrible service game from the Serbian and Thiem broke straight back but he struggled with nerves at crucial moments.

And that allowed Djokovic right back in, saving two match points and breaking again to continue the contest at 5-5 after a vocal Djokovic served out.

However Thiem rallied in Djokovic's next service game and broke to finally end the contest after over four hours, and end Djokovic's run of 26 Grand Slam victories in a row, denying him the chance to lift the Grand Slam.

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