Thiem Leads Djokovic In Roland Garros SF, Suspended Until Saturday
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic overcame a slow start Friday in windy conditions to even his Roland Garros semi-final against Dominic Thiem at a set apiece. But the fourth-seeded Austrian increased his aggression at the beginning of the third set, breaking for a 6-2, 3-6, 3-1 lead before rain caused a second suspension of play in the match at 5:51 p.m. local time, and the action will resume on Saturday.
Entering the match, Djokovic was the only player yet to lose a set at the clay-court Grand Slam. But the Serbian was bothered early by the swirling wind — and with it, clay. While Thiem has been solid, keeping his heavy groundstrokes safely in the court, the first set was moreo about Djokovic's mistakes. He made eight unforced errors in the opener — including two when facing break point — to just one winner to give his 25-year-old opponent the lead.
But after the stars were sent into cover for less than 10 minutes as Thiem served at 6-2, 2-3, 30/0, Djokovic settled down immediately. The Serbian greatly reduced his errors, forcing Thiem to either outgrind him or go for more. And Djokovic converted his first break point of the match at 4-3 when Thiem launched a low forehand approach shot long.
At the beginning of the third set, Thiem was no longer content to rally with Djokovic, instead going after his shots more to push the top seed back. That paid dividends at 2-1. After a massive gust of wind kept the Austrian from converting his first break chance of the game, Thiem did not let slip his next opportunity, dictating with his forehand to force an error to take the lead as the raindrops began to fall again.
Djokovic vs. Thiem: Stats So Far
Djokovic leads the pair’s FedEx ATP Head2Head series 6-2, but Thiem has won two of their past three matches, including a straight-sets victory two years ago at Roland Garros. The top seed, who owns a 26-match winning streak at the majors, is just two victories from holding all four Grand Slam titles at the same time for the second time.
Thiem is trying to reach his second consecutive Roland Garros final. Last year, he lost in straight sets against Nadal on his first attempt at a maiden major trophy.
Did You Know?
Djokovic has won 10 consecutive Grand Slam semi-finals, going on to lift the trophy eight times.