Thiem ends Djokovic streak to reach French final

Monday, 10 Jun, 2019

And rain, going back to the locker, on court again. Barty, the 23-year-old eighth seed, became the first Australian to capture the French title since Margaret Court in 1973.

Play was eventually cancelled for the day about 50 minutes later despite no rain falling - leading to criticism from several quarters.

Rafael Nadal or Dominic Thiem will break Novak Djokovic's run of consecutive Grand Slam wins as they meet in the final of the French Open at the end of a thrilling fortnight in Paris.

Dominic Thiem will face Rafael Nadal in Sunday's final. Thiem is 9-6 in career final appearances on clay. "It was an wonderful experience a year ago and he is favourite, but I'll put everything into making it an amzing experience out here again".

Asked why he can join Robin Soderling and Djokovic as the only men to get the better of Nadal at Roland Garros since the Spaniard won his first title in 2005, Thiem said: "I don't know yet, because I never beat him here on this court".

Thiem has the power, but he'll need a game plan.

They are slated to open Saturday's schedule in Court Philippe Chatrier at Roland Garros.

Nadal, 33, has won all three of their meetings at the French Open.

Instead, it is Thiem, an Austrian ranked No. 4, who now gets a chance to win his first Grand Slam trophy on the red clay of Roland Garros. And the world No 1 looked on a roll in Paris as he motored to the semis without dropping a set. And that's where his switch in coaches from Gunter Bresnik, the former coach of Boris Becker who guided Thiem for 15 years, could be key.

A double fault from Thiem saw Djokovic break and then serve to level up and force a deciding set.

Djokovic, being Djokovic, came back roaring.

"The protocol is that we talk to the players first and then we make an announcement", Forget said. But he somehow lacked the poise and the execution against Thiem.

At 4-4 on another break chance, a 21-shot rally concluded with the Austrian hitting a drop shot victor - off the net. With Thiem passing him with glee, he won only 35 of his 71 net points.

Repeatedly, they engaged in long and entertaining points that lasted 10 shots, 20 shots or more.

He also blasted stories of Djokovic having left the grounds before play had been called off as completely inaccurate.

Former world number one Amelie Mauresmo blasted tournament organisers for their decision to suspend play with daylight still remaining on Friday, claiming "we have hit rock bottom".

Thiem broke to move into a 4-1 lead and then had a point to lead 5-1, which Djokovic saved with a forehand. He constantly attacked deep into Thiem's forehand corner, and preyed on the short responses at the net. Thiem broke again to lead 5-3 and at 40-15, had two match points, only to miss two simple backhands as the tension rose.

It wasn't easy. Shouldn't be against Djokovic, who kept digging holes for himself and climbing out. Like he had a few times, the Austrian ran around his backhand and cracked a forehand down the line victor to seal his first five-set win at the French Open.