Dominic Thiem denied Novak Djokovic the dream of holding all four Grand Slam titles for the second time when he dramatically knocked the world number one out of the French Open semi-finals.
The 25 year-old Austrian completed a 6-2 3-6 7-5 7-5 7-5 victory at Roland Garros after another rain delay in a nerve-shredding climax to their suspended match.
On a third match point, Thiem broke the 32 year-old Serb with a forehand winner after looking like he had thrown victory away at 5-4. It delayed the women’s final by more than an hour, tournament organisers not having restarted the match until midday.
He now meets Rafael Nadal, with the unenviable task of trying to stop the Spaniard winning a twelfth title when he has spent his Saturday doing his allotted practice routine and resting up.
The match had been suspended on Friday evening in high winds with Thiem leading 3-1 in the third set, with Djokovic keen to get off. As it transpired the tournament was hasty in doing so, because the rain did not come and they could have come back out and played on for around an hour.
The wind was strong again on Saturday although not as bad, and Djokovic was in a similar cranky mood, getting a code violation late in the third set for unsportsmanlike behaviour and demanding the umpire not call the score so quickly, setting off the shot clock.