Print Edition - 2018-06-06 | Sports
Thiem downs weary Zverev
Jun 6, 2018-
Dominic Thiem reached his third successive French Open semi-final on Tuesday with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 demolition of a hobbled and exhausted Alexander Zverev.German second seed Zverev simply ran out of gas, paying a heavy price for needing three successive five-set matches to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final. His Roland Garros marathon also left him physically drained — he needed his left thigh strapped in the second set.
The statistics made bleak reading for Zverev—he finished with 42 unforced errors and just 19 winners. In a tight first set of a match played in overcast, heavy conditions, Thiem converted the only break point off a backhand winner in the seventh game before securing the opener.
Zverev, who had spent more than two and a half hours than his Austrian opponent getting to this stage, hit 13 unforced errors to Thiem’s miserly eight. A double break took the 24-year-old Austrian to 4-1 in the second set before Zverev needed a medical timeout for a leg injury. With his left thigh heavily strapped, the 21-year-old German was soon two sets down and looking at having to become the first player to win four consecutive five-setters if he was to make the semi-finals. Zverev managed just four winners in the second set. There was no coming back for the big-hearted German who was quickly down 4-0 in the third before Thiem wrapped up the affair.
American 13th seed Madison Keys proved too strong for Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva as she reached the French Open semi-finals for the first time. The 23-year-old, who lost to compatriot and good friend Sloane Stephens in last year’s US Open final, could next face a repeat of that match after a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over Putintseva. The 10th-seeded Stephens takes on Russian Daria Kasatkina in the second women’s quarter-final later on Tuesday.
On Monday, Serena Williams’s shock withdrawl meant Russian Maria Sharapova, the champion in Paris in 2012 and 2014, goes on to play 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza, who was 2-0 ahead of Lesia Tsurenko when the Ukrainian quit having suffered a leg injury.
Published: 06-06-2018 08:27