Published: Thu, June 07, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Thiem crushes Zverev to book French Open semi-final spot

Thiem crushes Zverev to book French Open semi-final spot

Austrian Thiem, the last man to beat Rafa Nadal on clay, was on another planet for two sets in a 6-2 6-0 5-7 6-4 statement win against Kei Nishikori while German second seed Zverev, 21, played a third consecutive five-setter to beat Russian Karen Khachanov.

Somehow, Cecchinato won the one that mattered most, the last. However, in the second round he was extended to five sets by Lajovic, eventually winning 2-6 7-5 6-4 6-1 6-2.

Zverev needed treatment on his left hamstring in the second set and was clearly hampered as his close friend Thiem put him through the wringer with his trademark groundstrokes.

It was a disappointing end to Zverev's tournament, but at least he leaves Paris having got rid of a couple of statistics that were hanging over his head. "It is tough to talk about my emotions, very tough".

U.S. Open runner-up Madison Keys overcame Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-1 6-4 in just over an hour to reach her first quarter-finals at Roland Garros. His ranking of No. 72 is the lowest in a decade for a man in the final eight at the French Open.

The match started brightly, with the early signs living up to the thrilling contest that many were expecting, with Thiem securing the only break to go a set up.

He was fortunate to survive a break point when serving for the set at 5-3, before drawing level at two sets apiece with an ace.

Two rising stars of men's tennis meet for a spot in the French Open semifinals when No. 2 Alexander Zverev of Germany plays No. 7 Dominic Thiem of Austria.

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"He played wonderful and credit to him".

"For me, " he continued, "this is the best moment of my life".

Requested later about lastly attaining the final eight at a serious - he has gained three Masters titles and makes common appearances in quarterfinals at ATP occasions - Zverev provided up a mix of sarcasm and humor, which is nothing new.

"It's great to reach the semi-finals for a third year but it's time to take another step and I will do everything for that". Nadal and Federer have returned from injury and surgery respectively to dominate the scene since early previous year, topping the ranks, winning the last five Majors between them, with Nadal favourite to win his 11th French Open this week. Their match was suspended as the light faded on Sunday evening, with Wozniacki in trouble: 7-6 3-2 down.

Though it is perhaps hard to tell exactly how Thiem played against an injured opponent, the Austrian did look very solid and now has three days off before his third consecutive last four encounter here. He is a 25-year-old from Sicily who once was handed a match-fixing suspension that later was thrown out on appeal.

"He's playing this year an incredible year, match after match, so I don't think and I don't expect him (to be) exhausted". "I have practiced with him many times in Monte-Carlo", Djokovic said. He chatted with himself during changeovers - "I like to talk", he said later - and dropping down onto the red clay after one last backhand victor on match point.

Too often, however, Thiem was able to place shots just out of Nishikori's reach.

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