Thiem Sets Semi-Final Clash With Djokovic In Paris

Dominic Thiem

PARIS, June 2, 2016

Dominic Thiem and Novak Djokovic will meet in the semi-finals of the French Open, as both players emerged victorious on Thursday afternoon.

Thiem overcame David Goffin 4-6, 7-6, 6-4, 6-1 in a thrilling and exciting match that had everything you could hope for, in particular during the second frame when Thiem took the set in the tie-break saving set point with a punishing forehand winner. The world number 15 was in command of the fourth set, converting his first match point after two hours and 51 minutes.

He has become the third Austrian to reach the stage of the final four of a Grand Slam, joining Thomas Muster and Jürgen Melzer.

“It was very emotional during the game, so now I can be calm but I’m still focused. It was a good and very intense match,” told Thiem afterwards. 

The 22-year-old has become the youngest semi-finalist at Roland Garros since Juan Martin Del Potro in 2009. 

“Honestly in the whole second set I didn’t really think that I’m going to win this match, because he was just on top of me. He was the better player the first two sets maybe, or until the tiebreak. I didn’t know what to do because he was returning well. He didn’t do any mistakes. Then I think the tiebreak was one of the highest level I was ever playing and things kind of turned around.”

Djokovic advanced to his 30th Grand Slam semi-final with a 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 victory over seventh seed Tomas Berdych. The 29-year-old from Serbia dominated the encounter, converting six of his eight break points to seal victory in two hours and six minutes.

The match took place on Philippe Chatrier in drizzling rain and was interrupted when Berdych and Djokovic were sent off the court with the Serbian leading 6-3, 7-5, 3-3. The Czech was angry about the decision and said that this would be “an absolute circus”, as it would have been raining like this for two and a half hours. Play resumed about only 15 minutes later.

“We were playing two-and-a-half sets in the light rain. Then all of the sudden, when I was being close and having my chances this decision was made,” Berdych told after the match. “You have to just go for the break, take all the stuff, go in, then go out again in a few minutes. Really, I mean, that was one of the worst calls that I ever had on the court. That’s it. The conditions are tough. It does not make it easy to play, but Novak just handled it better today.”

Djokovic and Thiem will meet for the third time with the Austrian still waiting to win his first set against the world number one. The last encounter between the two took place in Miami earlier this season.

“Dominic is one of the leaders of the new generation. I’m sure that he’s very motivated to show himself and others that he deserves to be at the top and compete for the biggest titles. He’s playing the best tennis of his life, no doubt about it. The results are showing that,” Djokovic said.

“He’s been playing a lot this year, practically every week since February or March. He’s been keeping fit, as well, which is quite amazing for somebody that doesn’t have that kind of scheduling before in his career. He’s played a lot of matches, especially on clay, which is his favorite surface. He plays with a lot of speed, with a lot of power. I’m sure he’s going to give it all in the semis. But I have something to fight for, as well. It’s going to be a good one.”