Novak Djokovic’s title defence came crashing down when he lost to Dominic Thiem in straight sets. Thiem now faces the rampaging Rafael Nadal while Stan Wawrinka plays Andy Murray in the semi-finals. The last four stages will have two epic battles to display.
The world no. 1 has been struggling lately with form and a series of mixed results on the clay court. Even so, without delivering some of his best tennis he is in the semis of the French Open for the second time in a row and will face another clay court glory seeker. Last year, these two met at the identical stage of this tournament, and Murray delivered what was arguably his finest win of 2016. But he lost to eventual champion Novak in the finals. Heading into this match, though, Wawrinka, who won this tournament in 2015, has looked more comfortable than Murray who is in patchy form this year. Murray lost 3 sets in route to his Semifinals.
The Swiss tennis star is having one of those moments when everything seems to work just fine. He got past Marin Cilic in the quarterfinal without having any doubt. Overall, his run throughout this tournament has been pretty much close to perfection. Stan Wawrinka is yet to lose a set in this tournament.
The second semifinal is the blockbuster match of the tournament where ‘King of Clay’ Rafael Nadal meets the 23-year-old young gun and possibly future great on clay Dominic Thiem. It’s the second semi-final of the day after Stan vs Andy match. Nadal has won four of his six meetings with Thiem. However, the Austrian won their most recent encounter in the Rome Masters quarter-finals last month. Their semi-final clash in Paris will be their fourth meeting of the year alone. Nadal saw off the talented clay-courter in the final of Barcelona and Madrid and didn’t drop a set.
It’s clear it’s at home at Roland Garros, with Thiem describing it as ‘a fast clay court that fits my game very well’, and the velocity with which he thrashes his groundstrokes will cause a problem for anyone on his day – even the great Nadal. Both men have yet to drop a set en route to the semi-finals
Matches on Court Philippe Chatrier (Center Court)
Stan Wawrinka and Rafael Nadal in four sets.