World number seven Dominic Thiem has beaten Novak Djokovic 7-6, 6-3, 6-0 at Roland Garros.
Fighting for a potential semi-final showdown with Rafael Nadal, Djokovic offered a stunningly lacklustre performance against the young Austrian, falling to a 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 6-0 defeat.
(AP Photo/Petr David Josek).
Also on Chatrier, nine-times champion Rafa Nadal faces fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, who has never beaten the claycourt master.
Thiem's the breaks: Novak Djokovic feels the strain during his loss to Dominic Thiem. "That last set was really odd".
So it's not something that hasn't happened before for any player. Can he summon that again?
"In Rome it was not a good day for me. That's a positive event for me already", he told a news conference.
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Incredibly, Djokovic completely fell apart in the third set, lacking the fight and penetration that have defined a career that has yielded 12 Grand Slam titles.
Djokovic struggled in the first set against Ramos-Vinolas but raised his level thereafter to win with a degree of comfort.
Since then, though, the highlight for Djokovic was a runner-up finish at the U.S. Open.
Nothing should be taken from Thiem, though, who has had a brilliant clay-court season and will now face Rafael Nadal for the fourth time this year on the red dirt - the sixth seed losing in Barcelona and Madrid, but winning their last encounter in Rome.
"But there are questions remaining about Novak. In the finals, there is another top star".
Murray will take on former champion Stan Wawrinka in a remake of last year's semifinal, which Murray won. Same for Elina Svitolina and Karolina Pliskova. "I'm not the only one", Djokovic said, with more than a hint of resignation. Pliskova beat Caroline Garcia 7-6 (3), 6-4. He scored 38 winners as compared to Djokovic's just 18.
"It's hard to comment on the third set".
"Nothing was going my way and everything was going his way", added Djokovic. "Just pretty bad set". "I tried. I lost that crucial break in the beginning of the second, and he started serving better, backing it up with the first shot".
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It was Thiem's first win over the Serb in six meetings.
In all, Djokovic made almost twice as many unforced errors, 35, as winners, 18.
"Well, as I said, the next chapter for me. That's what happened today".
How unlikely was this result?
Before Wednesday's win Djokovic had dropped just one set in five meetings with Thiem, and brushed aside the 23-year-old easily in last year's Roland Garros semi-finals.
On Wednesday, he wouldn't rule out some time off.
"It's tough to get out of it and figure out the way how to move ahead. At least I'm trying", Djokovic said. "You know, I just think it went to her side, and that's all".
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