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French Open: Defending Champion Djokovic Knocked out as Nadal Progresses


Novak Djokovic-Dominic Thiem

Defending champion Novak Djokovic is out of the French Open following a straight-sets defeat by Dominic Thiem.

The Serbian second seed was second best throughout to powerful-hitting Thiem, losing 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 6-0 in Paris. It is the Austrian sixth seed’s first victory over Djokovic and he will now play Rafael Nadal in the last four.

Nadal reached the semis after fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta withdrew from their match with an abdominal injury while trailing 6-2 2-0. Fourth seed Nadal is aiming to win a record 10th title at Roland Garros having become just the fifth man to reach 10 semi-finals at a single Grand Slam in the Open era.

Tournament favourite Nadal, 31, has won the French Open title on each of the nine previous occasions he has advanced past the quarter-finals. He has now recorded 100 best-of-five-sets victories on clay from just 102 matches, with his only defeats coming at Roland Garros, to Robin Soderling in the fourth round in 2009 and Djokovic in the 2015 quarter-finals.

Nadal has also dropped just 22 games through five matches in Paris, bettering his previous low of 25 en route to the last four in 2008.

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