French Open 2018: Dominic Thiem beats injured Alexander Zverev to make semi-finals

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French Open 2018
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Dates: 27 May-10 June
Coverage: Daily live radio and text commentaries on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, the BBC Sport website and app.

Austrian seventh seed Dominic Thiem reached the French Open semi-finals for the third successive year with a straight-set win over an injured Alexander Zverev.

Thiem, 24, won 6-4 6-2 6-1 against the German second seed.

Zverev, 21, struggled with a hamstring injury from midway through the second set, needing treatment and heavy strapping before continuing.

But he cut a forlorn figure as Thiem triumphed in one hour and 50 minutes.

Thiem will meet either 12-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic or Italy’s Marco Cecchinato, who meet later on Tuesday, in the last four.

Zverev injury ruins highly-anticipated contest

Zverev and Thiem have long been identified as the two younger players most likely to threaten Rafael Nadal’s dominance on clay.

Zverev is the leading player on the ATP Tour this year, having earned more ranking points and won more matches than anyone else.

Thiem’s preparations for Roland Garros were boosted by winning a tour title in Lyon, moving him clear of Nadal as the leading man on clay – in terms of number of matches won – this year.

So it was a quarter-final greeted with much intrigue and excitement as both men looked to move a step closer to a potential first Grand Slam title.

Unfortunately the match-up was ruined as a contest when Zverev, playing his first Grand Slam quarter-final, pulled his left hamstring midway through the second set.

Zverev had spent almost two and a half hours more on court than Thiem in his run to the last eight, having needed five sets to come through each of his previous three matches.

That appeared to have an effect on the German as he made a slow start in the first and then pulled up in the second.

He decided to carry on, but looked nothing like the player who had been tipped by some to win Roland Garros.

He won just four points as Thiem raced 4-0 ahead, fighting back briefly by earning a break point at 4-1, but losing serve again in the next game as Thiem advanced with a trademark backhand winner.

Analysis

Great Britain Davis Cup captain Leon Smith

Zverev is a popular figure, he’s had an incredible year but it wasn’t really a match. He looked very tired and jaded in the first set and then obviously struggled with his hamstring. Thiem has won in one hour and 50 minutes and will be fresh in the semi-finals.

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