From hero to zero! US Open champion Dominic Thiem dumped OUT of the French Open by Diego Schwartzman as pair thrash out FIVE-HOUR epic at Roland Garros
- One of the favourites for the French Open, Dominic Thiem, has been eliminated
- The US Open champion was set to thrive on clay but will now go no further
- He was beaten 7-6, 5-7, 6-7, 7-6, 6-2 by Argentine star Diego Schwartzman
A shattered Dominic Thiem was left standing as a symbol of tennis’s upside-down world after a French Open defeat of epic proportions.
By the end of a five hour and eight minute struggle against Diego Schwartzman the effort of capturing his US Open title last month had well and truly overwhelmed him, and all he could offer was a miscued dropshot to hand his opponent victory.
Paris was where he was meant to excel, but instead he is left with New York after being beaten in the quarter finals by the 5’7′ pocket battleship from Argentina. Schwartzman won 7-6, 5-7, 6-7, 7-6, 6-2 in what was the sixth longest match of the tournament’s history.
Dominic Thiem was on the losing end of a five-hour epic at the French Open on Tuesday night
Argentine star Diego Schwartzman was left to toast the exhausting win at Roland Garros
The epic match exceeded five hours with every point feeling like a war for the two players
An overloaded schedule – always likely to cause the players disruption – meant that a late night was in store for whoever is now going to play Schwartzman on Friday, either Rafael Nadal or the 19 year-old Italian Jannik Sinner.
With neither player gaining many free points in the heavy conditions every point felt like a war, and the Austrian had nothing left to give by the end.
It would have been over sooner had Schwartzman, among the shortest players in the top 100, taken his chances in the second and third sets.
‘In the third I was going out of my mind,’ he admitted. ‘I was so nervous because I saw this as a chance today and I wasn’t taking it.’
Schwartzman was the underdog but he is strong on clay and once again showed his quality
Those fortunate to be in attendance huddled together under blankets while wearing masks
His performance was a far cry from that at the US Open, where he was ousted in the first round by British No 3 Cam Norrie in what was another five-set marathon.
Schwartzmann’s compatriot Nadia Podoroska made history when she became the first female qualifier to make the French Open semi-finals since the game went ‘open’ in 1968.
At a ranking of 131 in the world the 23 year-old from Rosario is somewhat lesser known than the city’s most famous sporting offspring – Lionel Messi – but astonishingly she is now two wins away from the title.
Podoroska’s parents are of Ukrainian heritage and she stunned that country’s best player, and the tournament’s No 3 seed, Elina Svitolina 6-2, 6-4.
Thiem’s performance was in contrast to his US Open run, which saw him crowned champion
There was a mutual respect between the two players at the end after a quite spectacular match
Decent women’s tennis players from South America have become few and far between since the boom days of Gabriela Sabatini, and Podoroska is barely known to all but the cognoscenti.
She has now won eight matches, including three from qualifying, and her prize money of €425,000 (£387,000) has comfortably exceeded the earnings from the rest of her career put together.
The delayed second quarter final between Simona Halep’s conqueror, Poland’s Iga Swatek, and the unheralded Martina Trevisan on Tuesday night would provide her semi-final opponent.
It is guaranteed there will be at least one unseeded women’s finalist.