Djokovic 'tanked' the last set, says McEnroe

Thiem is the only player to defeat Nadal on clay this season and sealed a return to the last four in Paris with a sensational 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 6-0 upset of defending champion Novak Djokovic.

Carreno Busta lasted just two games of the second set before retiring to extend Nadal's French Open record to an incredible 77 wins and just two losses.

After getting roughed up by Thiem, including 6-0 in the third set, Djokovic called the 23-year-old "one of the up-and-coming, rising stars that, of course, is very hungry to beat you and to get his hands on a Grand Slam trophy".

Wawrinka, who has yet to drop a set in this year's tournament, won 6-3, 6-3, 6-1.

The result is that the man who beat Andy Murray in the 2016 French Open final will drop out of the top two in the world for the first time in nearly six years. World number one Novak Djokovic has never triumphed in Paris.

The 12-time Grand Slam victor had a complete overhaul of his coaching staff ahead of the second Grand Slam of the year, and said when asked that he would not rule anything out as he attempts to address a worrying slump in form. On Friday is Nadal.

He advanced to the semifinals where he is going to play against Rafael Nadal who progressed after a short match against Pablo Carreno-Busta who forfeited in the second set with the result 6-2 2-0.

Halep, who is seeded third, had taken the first set 6-4.

Nadal rolled through the first set in 32 minutes, chiding himself for two service lapses while monstering Carreno Busta. Djokovic, bidding for a seventh consecutive semi-final spot at Roland Garros, squandered two set points in the opener before losing the tiebreak and his game then fell apart.

The aggressive tennis from Thiem and countless errors from the racket of Djokovic proved to be the deciding factors in the match. In fact, Djokovic only won eight points in total in the final set, with one of them being a double fault from the world No. 7.

"But it's great for me to be in the semi-finals again, to defend that", added sixth seed Thiem who lost to Djokovic in the Paris semi-finals a year ago.

"It was the ideal match, I am really happened with what happened today", he said.

And McEnroe claims the Serb was "tanking" in the third set.

The Djokovic-Thiem victor will face Rafael Nadal in the semifinals.

Down love-30, Thiem held to start the set then tightened the screws on his opponent in the second game.

He is looking to join Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro as the only players other than Djokovic, Nadal, Murray, Wawrinka and Roger Federer to win grand slam titles in the last 12 years.

Nadal reaches his 10th career French Open final. "It can carry a penalty fine for lack of effort, although this option is unlikely to be used against a player as illustrious as Djokovic", the paper's Simon Briggs says.

  • Julie Sanders