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Djokovic misses French Open semi-finals, Halep finishes epic comeback

Editor: zhenglimin 丨Xinhua

06-08-2017 09:06 BJT

PARIS, June 7 (Xinhua) -- Men's singles defending champion Novak Djokovic failed to make into the semifinals as he lost to Austrian promising star Dominic Thiem, while women's No. 3 seed Simona Halep took on a historic comeback to secure her place in last four at the 2017 French Open here on Wednesday.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a return during the men

Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a return during the men's quarterfinal match against Dominic Thiem of Austria at the French Open Tennis Tournament 2017 in Paris, France, on June 7, 2017. Dominic Thiem won 3-0. (Xinhua/Chen Yichen)

The titleholder, with his lackluster performance, was shocked by sixth seed Thiem 7-6 (5), 6-3, 6-0. The Austrian avenged his recent loss to Djokovic in the semifinals in Rome with a total of 38 winners despite 28 unforced errors, while the Serbian only had 18 winners against 35 unforced errors.

"It's hard to comment on the third set. Obviously nothing was going in my way and everything in his way. Just a pretty bad set," said Djokovic, who was expected to drop outside of top two on ATP rankings for the first time since July 2011.

Djokovic was also the only top four seed of the tournament that failed to secure a semifinal spot, as Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka and Rafael Nadal all went through.

World No. 1 Murray came back from 6-2 down in the first set against Asian top-ranked Kei Nishikori to set it 6-1, 7-6 (0), 6-1 in the following three sets.

Murray set up a semifinal clash with Swiss Wawrinka, who swept the seventh-seeded Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-3, 6-1.

"I didn't expect that score, but I was confident with my game. I knew he was playing good since the beginning of the tournament, but I was also confident with what I was doing," said Wawrinka in a confident manner.

Thiem's next opponent will be Nadal, as the "King of Clay" was on his run for the 10th success at Roland Garros.

Nadal met little resistence from his Spanish compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta in their 51-minute matchup, as the 20th-seeded Busta retired when Nadal was leading 6-2, 2-0.

In the women's field, due to an early exit from world No. 1 Angelique Kerber, Halep and the second-seeded Karolina Pliskova were involved in a tense battle for the top position on WTA rankings.

Halep once faced the threat of an elimination after she lost the opening set 6-3 and was 5-1 down in the second, before bouncing back strongly into the match as she won five games in a row to turn around the tables.

After winning the thrilling tiebreak 8-6, she continued her in-form display to finish a bagel in the decider.

Halep booked a head-to-head semifinal contest with Pliskova, who got past local favorite Caroline Garcia 7-6 (3), 6-4.

The other semifinal of women's singles will be played between 30th seed Timea Bacsinszky and underdog Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia.

China's Zheng Saisai found it difficult to play at her best level due to a knee injury, as she and her Romanian partner Irina-Camelia Begu lost to Australian duo of Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua 6-3, 6-4 in the doubles quarter-finals.

The 15-year-old Chinese youngster Wang Xinyu also crashed out from the tournament with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 loss to Whitney Osuigwe in the girls' singles third round.

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