World N.1 Novak Djokovic was stopped in his quest for a fourth consecutive victory in Grand Slam by Austrian Dominic Thiem (N.4), winner in five sets 6-2, 3-6, 7- 5, 5-7, 7-5 in the semifinals of Roland-Garros Saturday, after a match played over two days and chopped by the rain.
Thiem (25), finalist last season, will face in the final on Sunday Rafael Nadal (N.2), looking for a twelfth title record on the Paris clay court and who pushed Roger Federer Friday (6-3, 6 -4, 6-2).
Djokovic’s defeat puts an end to his quest for a Grand Slam that spans two seasons, which was only two wins after his titles at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2018, then at the Open of Australia in January, and who had already achieved it for the first time in his career, between 2015 and 2016.
Even Federer and Nadal, the two most decorated players in Grand Slam history (20 and 17 respectively), broke their teeth on this rare achievement in the history of tennis. Only the American Donald Budge, in 1938, and the Australian Rod Laver, in 1962 and 1969, did better by completing the Grand Slam on the same season, but in their time, all the major tournaments, with the exception of Roland Garros, played on grass.
The semifinal between Djokovic and Thiem stretched over two days and was chopped into four pieces due to the weather conditions.
Begun Friday afternoon, it was interrupted briefly for the first time, then postponed until Saturday when both players had each won a set (6-2, 3-6) and the Austrian had the advantage 3 games to 1 in the third inning.
Back on court Philippe-Chatrier at midday Saturday, Djokovic and Thiem were once again sent back to the locker room after a little over two hours of play while the Austrian was only two games away. a prestigious victory and to afford a second consecutive final at Roland Garros: the game was interrupted at 4-1 in his favor, 40-40 on the service of Djokovic.
After a little over an hour of interruption, the Serb with fifteen major trophies spread a second ball of 5-1, reduced the gap to 4-3 but found back to the wall when Thiem has again broke (5-3) and got two first match points. The Austrian then chained four direct faults allowing “Djoko” to believe again. But the world N.1 finally cracked, at 6-5 on his service, the third match point of Thiem, converted with a final right shot winner.
The 2019 final will be a reissue of the one of a year ago, between Nadal and Thiem. The Spanish champion then won 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.