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Poor Paris weather halts Thiem momentum

07 Jun 2019, 22:58 IST
Novak Djokovic marches off in the rain

Dominic Thiem will resume on Saturday with a slender lead over Novak Djokovic after bad weather prevented their French Open semi-final from being completed on Friday.

Djokovic struggled in high winds in a first set that Thiem won 6-2 at Roland Garros, but the top seed weathered the storm to take the second 6-3.

Last year's runner-up Thiem had just gone a break up at 3-1 in the third set when the players went off with rain lashing down and they were unable to return.

With Storm Miguel approaching Paris, Rafael Nadal overcame tough conditions - with wind whipping clay off the surface - to beat old foe Roger Federer in straight sets in the other last-four showdown.

Djokovic - bidding to hold all four major titles for the second time in his career - was visibly troubled by strong gusts from the start as he struggled with the ball toss and went a break down at 2-1 after netting a backhand off balance before a brief rain delay.

The composed Thiem was whipping up a storm of his own and the unsettled Serbian prodded a volley into the net to go a double break down at 5-2 in one of several unsuccessful forays forward.

Thiem served out the set to love in emphatic fashion and Djokovic fended off a couple of break points early in the second prior to a heavy shower, which took the players off.

Djokovic looked much more at home when play resumed, executing an exquisite drop shot to perfection and breaking for a 5-3 advantage after working the Austrian from side to side.

The 2016 champion charged forward to steer away a backhand winner and level the match, but Thiem mixed up his game in cute fashion and took the initiative in the third set before the weather halted his momentum.

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