Thiem reaches third straight French Open semi-final

Thiem reaches third straight French Open semi-final

Thiem reaches third straight French Open semi-final

He insisted that he was fit enough to cope-and his long-term training regime since he was 16 with the formidable Jez Green in control had certainly worked its magic. Nearly 12 hours altogether so far.

But it soon become apparent that Zverev had some stiffness in his hamstring, and Thiem was quickly running him ragged with drop shots, lobs and more.

The Kazakh showed great resolve to force a tie-break, though, saving two set points on her own serve.

Next came a straight-set win over 190th-ranked Marco Trungelliti. He finished with 42 unforced errors and just 19 winners. The Austrian offered up a break-back point with a double fault, but compensated with remarkable reactions at the net, threw in another drop/lob combo, and led 3-1. Thiem lost to Zverev in the Madrid final but is the only player to beat Nadal on clay this year and he oozed confidence from the outset against the tall German. He looked exhausted, too, but continued with a heavily strapped left thigh. It got even worse for the Japanese player in the second set as Thiem toyed with him.

The gritty victory came with the usual temper flare-ups from Zverev.

He then held serve throughout to wrap it up on his second match point when Nishikori sent a forehand long.

The two embraced warmly at the net: There is clearly no lack of respect for each other, and while this latest meeting did not live up to hopes and expectations, it promised plenty for the future.

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"Yeah, I think everything will be normal".

"He played incredible and credit to him".

"That's obviously nice to hear, and it means that we play good tennis, both of us". I'm not that young anymore.

But of course, there is still the not-so-small issue of the "big four". Cecchinato had never won a match at a major tournament until last week and, at No. 72, is the lowest-ranked French Open men's quarterfinalist in a decade.

The Austrian is aiming to reach the French Open semi-finals for the third year running, after he lost in the last four to the eventual victor in both 2016 (Novak Djokovic) and 2017 (Rafael Nadal).

234 - Number of Grand Slam match wins for Nadal, moving him past Jimmy Connors for third among men in history, behind only Roger Federer (332) and Novak Djokovic (244). Physically, obviously it's not easy to play, you know, back to back to back five-set matches, but I will manage it somehow. Zverev began to let rip, snatching one game back, but the outcome was inevitable and Thiem put him out of his misery with a routine backhand victor into a wide-open court. "If you beat me in the end you're better than me, but I'm going to take you the whole way.' If he does that Thiem is the favourite", said Wilander.

The 24-year-old, who is the only player to have beaten Nadal in the last two clay-court seasons, had headed to Paris, days after winning a ATP 250 title in Lyon.

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