Dominic Thiem suffered a shock 7-6, 5-7, 6-7, 7-6, 6-2 French Open quarter-final defeat against Diego Schwartzman on Tuesday evening in a major boost to Rafael Nadal’s hopes of winning his 13th crown at Roland Garros.
Thiem was expected at least reach the final four in Paris after securing his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open last month.
The Austrian usually plays his best tennis on clay and he has been beaten by Nadal in the last two French Open finals.
The pair could have met in the semi-finals this year but Schwartzman produced a big upset in a battle that lasted over five hours.
There were many twists and turns along the way – including both players arguing with the umpire when it started raining in the second set.
But it was Schwartzman who keep his cool to book book a potential semi-final showdown with Nadal, if the world No 2 beats Jannik Sinner.
“They were trying to find solutions in windy conditions, heavy balls, starting in the day and ending at night, everything!”
The biggest threat to Nadal’s crown in Paris is now world No 1 Novak Djokovic, who he could play in the final.
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