French Open: Novak Djokovic big test vs Dominic Thiem

Updated: Jun 07, 2019, 15:26 IST | AFP

World No. 1 says it will be a challenge to concentrate as heavy rains are forecast for his semi-final against Thiem

French Open: Novak Djokovic big test vs Dominic Thiem
Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates his French Open quarter-final win over Alexander Zverev of Germany in Paris yesterday. Pic/AFP

Novak Djokovic reached his ninth Roland Garros semi-final yesterday, sweeping past Alexander Zverev to keep his bid to become just the second man to hold all four Slams at the same time twice firmly on track.

Top seed and World No. 1 Djokovic won 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 and will face Austrian fourth seed Dominic Thiem today in what will be his 35th Grand Slam semi-final. Thiem reached the semi-finals for a fourth successive year with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 victory against Russian 10th seed Karen Khachanov.

Alexander Zverev
Alexander Zverev

'Hit the ball cleanly'
"It was a big challenge for me today but I was hitting the ball more cleanly," said Djokovic. "It's a great joy to be in the semi-finals again." The problem for Djokovic now in his pursuit of a second title in Paris and 16th major is the weather. Heavy rain is forecast to hit Paris again today after Wednesday's washout. "I just have to keep my concentration and stay in the moment. I hope to continue like this," said the Serb.

Top seeds enter Last Four
The other semi-final will see Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer resume their great rivalry, meaning this is the first time the top four seeds have all reached the last four at a Grand Slam since the 2013 Australian Open. The last time Djokovic made the semi-finals was 2016 when he went on to win the title. He has a 6-2 career lead over Thiem and beat the Austrian in the Rome semis in the run-up to Paris. However, Thiem came out on top in the Roland Garros quarter-finals in straight sets in 2017.

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