Dominic Thiem stuns Novak Djokovic for a second Nole Slam.
The world No.1 had won the last three Grand Slam titles in a 26-match winning streak dating back to the quarter-finals here last year.
But in an amazing semi-final which was started on Friday and ended delaying the women’s final, the Austrian No.1 fought off a fifth-set fightback to blow away the Serb 6-2 3-6 7-5 5-7 7-5 on another windy day in Paris.
The clay-court battle lasted four hours and 13 minutes– and 11time champion Nadal will have the advantage of a extra day’s rest on Sunday.
Novak Djokovic, who had not dropped a set in the tournament, had been bidding to hold all four Grand Slams for the second time – like he did here in 2016.
Thiem will now seek revenge on Rafael Nadal here after losing last year’s final to the Spaniard in straight sets.
The match had resumed today with Dominic Thiem leading 3-1 in the third set. Djokovic was warned for a time violation before a serve by umpire Jaume Campistol – and argued with the Spaniard at changeover over losing the set.
When Djokovic was told the time limit was 25 seconds, the Serb responded sarcastically: “Have you ever played tennis?
“Well done man. You made yourself a name. You made yourself recognisable. You will get all the credit after this.”
His mood had not been helped by one Thiem backhand pass which hit the net tape and looped over his head for a winner.
The world No.1 quickly regained his composure in a rollercoaster third set before a Thiem double fault allowed him to lead 6-5 and serve out to level the match.
A gripping final set saw Thiem break to lead 3-1 when a Djokovic volley hit the net tape and fall back on his side.
Thiem had break points to go 5-1 either side of a 70-minute rain break – both times he was five points from victory.