French Open 2017 | John McEnroe slams Novak Djokovic after Dominic Thiem loss

That he departed this time with a surprisingly lopsided 7-6 (5), 6-3, 6-0 quarterfinal loss to sixth-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria on Wednesday left everyone, including Djokovic, pondering the answers to hard questions.

Nadal is bidding for a 10th French Open title, more than anyone has won at a single Grand Slam tournament in the Open era, and a 15th major overall, which would break a tie with Pete Sampras for second most for a man behind Roger Federer's 18.

Thiem, who plays with a single-handed backhand, said he needed to improve the defensive side of his game after struggling against the ferocious top-spin of Nadal's forehand during their past encounters.

Nadal, chasing a 10th Roland Garros title, will face 23-year-old Thiem after making the last four without breaking sweat. "It is a big challenge and I'm up for it".

He then also held all four majors.

This time around, he was served a final set bagel-just the third 6-0 set lost of his Grand Slam career and the first since 2005-to send him packing.

Novak Djokovic effectively waved the white flag, bowing out of the French Open in the quarter-finals, with a whimper to Dominic Thiem.

He said: "When have you seen Djokovic lose 0-6 in a Grand Slam quarter-final?"

Nadal reached the semi-finals after compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta retired due to injury in their quarter-final.

Djokovic had appeared in a record six consecutive semifinals in Paris. He has really heavy spin and can play quickly, so he's got an all-round game for clay courts.

The other semi is a rematch from a year ago with top-ranked Andy Murray facing third-seeded Stan Wawrinka. Djokovic entered the day having won all five previous matches - and 11 of 12 sets - against Thiem, including in the French Open semi-finals a year ago."It's awesome", Thiem said. The Austrian was untroubled after he won the first-set tiebreaker enroute to his 7-6 (5), 6-3, 6-0 win over the defending champion. Match over. French Open title defense over.

"I didn't expect that score, but I was confident with my game".

And what about Andy Murray, who meets Wawrinka on Friday in a rematch of the 2016 French Open semifinals?

"I think the chase, it's fantastic, right?" I won in Barcelona and Madrid and I lost to him in Rome. It was also only the second time in his 937 match career that he has lost the final set 6-0. Beyond all that, as I said at the start of the tournament, everything that is being said and written. of course you have a job to do, but my job is to play tennis.

McEnroe was surprised by the manner in which the Serbian fell to pieces in the last eight, saying he looked like he did not want to be on court at Roland Garros.

  • Julie Sanders