Disgruntled Novak Djokovic exits French Open

Disgruntled Novak Djokovic exits French Open

Nadal swept Thiem previous year to win his 11th French Open title.

Thiem spent nearly three hours on court Saturday after proceedings were paused with the 25-year-old ahead 3-1 in the third Friday.

Despite the swirling wind turning the court into a dust bowl on Friday, the fourth seed stuck to his guns and hit through an irritated Djokovic to take the first set 6-2.

Djokovic went to press right after the match wrapped, and said "I don't know" 10 times.

Later Saturday in the women's final, Ashleigh Barty defeated Marketa Vondrousova, an unseeded 19-year-old from the Czech Republic, in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3.

Against Roger Federer in the semi-finals, he conceded just five games, handing the Swiss his worst Slam loss in 11 years. And on Sunday he takes on a player whose name shines the brightest in the annals of Roland Garros history: Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic got straight into his groove, broke back in the third game of the day and was denied another break at 4-4 when Thiem failed to put away two smashes then got an outrageous net cord off an audacious half-volley.

Novak Djokovic's 26-match Grand Slam winning streak ended in the French Open semifinals because he made some odd strategic choices, because the wild weather bothered him, because the chair umpire got under his skin.

When play was halted, with the top seed trailing 1-3 in the third set, there was still around two hours of daylight remaining.

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The lack of focus drifted into his choices during points, too, including a mediocre volley that let Thiem deposit a backhand passing victor for a fourth set point. The "King of Clay" has won the last two French Opens and has dropped only one set in his six matches leading to Sunday's final.

Ask the Austrian media who follow Thiem week in, week out throughout the season, and they will tell you that since his split from Bresnik, he seems to be playing with more freedom, expressing himself more on the court.

On the first point when they returned, Djokovic paused, thinking a shot by Thiem landed out. The Austrian shrugged it off and every time Djokovic made him dig deeper, he came up with the goods.

"All the time, if someone reaches the finals here, it's against Rafa", Thiem said with a laugh.

One game from victory and at 0-15 on the Djokovic serve, Thiem error's helped a relieved Djokovic hang on.

In gusty winds Thiem's powerful groundstrokes helped him dominate the first set and Djokovic was in trouble early in the second when he fended off a break point.

Nadal and Thiem have met 11 times on clay, with Nadal holding a 7-4 advantage.

And on a break point, he snatched at his backhand and sent it into the net.

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