Dominic Thiem produced a sensational performance to down 2016 French Open champion Novak Djokovic 7-6(5) 6-3 6-0.
The 23-year-old’s tennis was sublime but Djokovic’s dismal showing in the third set was as uncharacteristic as it was unexpected, especially considering Thiem had won only one set against Djokovic in their previous five meetings.
The 30-year-old hit 35 unforced errors – and particularly struggled on his backhand side – in a match that lasted two hours and 17 minutes.
The Austrian No. 7 seed, who was defeated in straight sets by Djokovic at the semi-final stage last year, fended off a couple of set points before taking the first in a tie-break, and an early break in the second was enough to see the world number seven take a deserved two-set lead.
“Everything was decided in the first set,” said Djokovic in his post-match press conference. “I am not playing close to my best and everyone knows that.”
Djokovic’s struggles with his game deepened as the match wore on, making some uncharacteristic unforced errors, while Thiem was expertly constructing points, and things got worse for the 12-time Grand Slam winner in the third, as he was bageled in just 23 minutes.