Magnificent Thiem crushes Zverev to reach semi-finals

Posted June 08, 2018

These hurdles have finally been overcome, but Zverev has had to dig deep. In all three of his five-setters he has trailed 2-1 in sets. At 9-8, Djokovic flubbed a forehand, knelt and clasped his hands together as if praying, then raised an index finger as if to plea, "Let me have ONE of these!"

"I'm very happy about being in the quarterfinals here, going the hard way, going long distance every single time and showing myself, showing everybody, that I can play for as long as I need to", said Zverev.

A left hamstring problem started affecting him as early as the third game in the match and by the end of the second set his mobility was seriously inhibited.

Unable to chase down tough balls, all the 28-year-old Nishikori had going for him was his shot making.

"Well, I'm young, so I might as well stay on court, get some practice and entertain you guys", smiled Zverev, who is bidding to become the first German man to win the French Open since 1937.

Novak Djokovic matched Roger Federer's mark of reaching nine consecutive quarter-finals at Roland Garros by beating No. 30 seed Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

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Djokovic, who came to Paris with his lowest seeding since 2006 after a hard past 12 months in which he has dealt with an elbow injury, had begun to look like his old self at Roland Garros - dropping just one set en route to the last eight.

Three-time champion Williams is playing her first Grand Slam tournament since taking time off last year due to pregnancy, while Sharapova is at Roland Garros for the first time in three years after serving a doping ban in 2016 and being refused a wildcard 12 months ago.

Thiem has a 4-2 head-to-head advantage over the 21-year-old Zverev.

"But I hope I can win more matches here".

When the match ended on court Suzanne-Lenglen, Zverev sunk to his knees with arms outstretched. He then patted Khachanov, a friend from their junior days, on the chest before pumping his arms to celebrate.

Luckily for Zverev, he was able to edge the tie-break and level the scores at a set apiece, but Khachanov hit back strongly in the third set, taking it easily after successive breaks midway through to leave his opponent in trouble.

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After falling behind 4-1 in that set an hour into the match, Zverev called for a trainer, who applied a thick bandage to his upper left leg.

He cruised through the first set, held his nerve in the second set tiebreak, survived a comeback from former world number one Djokovic in the third, before prevailing in a highly-entertaining fourth-set tiebreak.

On his third set point, the erratic Zverev found the net again with a sloppy backhand.

Khachanov had some chances in the second and again late in the match, but his forehand let him down.

"I'm a better player in general, for sure." said the world number eight, who barely put a foot wrong in a one-sided quarter-final. "Hopefully big things can happen here".

She will meet Sloane Stephens, who defeated Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 6-1.

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The Serb, three-times a Wimbledon champion, appeared distraught after his quarter-final defeat by unseeded Marco Cecchinato in which he was treated for neck pain.