Nadal reaches French Open semifinals after opponent retires

French Open 2017 Rafael Nadal Novak Djokovic close in on semi-final blockbuster

French Open 2017 Rafael Nadal Novak Djokovic close in on semi-final blockbuster

The 23-year-old Austrian sent Djokovic tumbling to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 6-0 quarter-final loss on Wednesday for his first win over the world number two in six meetings.

Even Djokovic found it hard to fathom how far he's fallen, only a year removed from leaving Roland Garros as a player nonpareil, the first man in almost a half-century to win four consecutive Grand Slam titles. But his form has dipped considerably since then, and now he has gone four majors in a row without earning a trophy. "It's a fact that I'm not playing close to my best". It's only the second time Djokovic lost a final set by the score of 6-0 in his 937 career tour-level matches.

"It was not there for me today", Djokovic said with a sigh.

After squandering two set points in the opener on a blustery Court Suzanne Lenglen, Djokovic's renowned fighting spirit ebbed away quickly and he surrendered the third set in 20 minutes.

The Serb hit only 18 winners to 35 unforced errors. His backhand was particularly problematic.

His French Open title defence nearing an end, Novak Djokovic stumbled and tumbled to his knees on the red clay, his racket flying from his right hand as his opponent's backhand zipped past.

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"All and all, I think it was decided in the first set", Djokovic said after the match.

Still, how unlikely was this result?

"Thiem is a tough player", he said.

The quarterfinal match between fifth-seeded Elena Svitolina and No. 3 Simona Halep at the French Open is going into a third set.

The Djokovic-Thiem victor will face Rafael Nadal in the semifinals. But this continued what has become something of a 12-month downward slide for him since he finally grabbed ahold of the French Open championship he had so long sought.

Djokovic was runner-up at the U.S. Open but lost in the third round at Wimbledon, the first round at the Rio Olympics and the second round at the Australian Open. He also lost his No. 1 ranking to Andy Murray.

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Along the way, he split with one of his coaches, Boris Becker, and then his other, Marian Vajda, along with other members of his entourage.

Novak Djokovic effectively waved the white flag, bowing out of the French Open in the quarter-finals, with a whimper to Dominic Thiem.

"I will make sure that I play my best and produce my best tennis". "It's not getting easier on Friday". No. 8 Kei Nishikori, and 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka vs.

In the semis, Nadal will now face Austria's sixth seed Dominic Thiem who defeated defending champion Novak Djokovic 7-6,6-3, 6-0.

Fourteen-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal booked his place in the semi-finals of the French Open for the 10th time after his opponent Pablo Carreno Busta was forced retire during the last eight clash due to an abdominal problem on Wednesday.

Nadal - bidding to become the first player in the Open Era to win the same major 10 times - and Carreno Busta hugged before the 14-time grand slam victor applauded his crestfallen friend off court.

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"For me, it's a whole new situation that I'm facing, especially in the last seven, eight months, not winning any tournament, which hasn't happened in many years", said Djokovic, who actually won in Doha in January but may have been referring to grand slams. "Past year he was also playing really well and I had to play one of my best matches on clay to beat him", he said.

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