Sunday, 21 May 2017

Djokovic destroys Thiem

It was a big day for Novak Djokovic in Rome.
The number two seed resumed his quarter final with Juan Martin del Potro at 1-2 in the second set with a one set lead.
Despite each player dominating on serve, Djokovic converted the single chance he was given and that was enough to take the set and reach the semi final.
Another match required for Novak on the same day - later that night against Dominic Thiem, rested after his terrific victory over Nadal.

After Sascha Zverev had booked his place in the final, following a semi final victory over John Isner in three sets, and the women's semis had been completed, the eagerly awaited clash between the established star Djokovic and the young gun Thiem was next on the list.

However Novak Djokovic disappointed the crowd by destroying the Austrian in a way not seen on a tennis court by the 12 time Grand Slam champ for perhaps 12 months.
While the battle was one sided, the crowd was at least treated to thrilling shot making from a great.
This was Djokovic as his absolute best, producing winners at will and forcing one of the best current players into error over and over again.
The first five games of set one were in the Serbian pocket before we could blink, and Thiem could only momentarily escape from the Djokovic trap to post a game on the board.

Djokovic did not face a break point for the set in which he won 26 of 36 points played.

Set two was more of the same but this time there was no surrendering even one game to Thiem.  The eighth seed fought hard, and even produced two break points against Djokovic.  Those were replied with excellent serves, as would be expected given the trend of the match.

Novak Djokovic won the semi final in a tick under the hour 6-1 6-0 against a player who 24 hours earlier had taken Rafa Nadal to the cleaners.
This sets up not only a great final here in Rome - another young gun Alexander Zverev to serve it up to Novak - but more importantly a real contest potentially on the cards at Roland Garros.

The women's final sees Simona Halep lining up for two titles in a row, after proving too strong for Anett Kontaveit in one semi.
The other semi was unfortunately cut short when Elina Svitolina led Garbine Muguruza 4-1 in the opening set and the Spaniard retired due to a neck injury.

This is the fourth retirement in 2017 for Muguruza, which is a worrying stat. Another stat of interest is that Svitolina and Halep have only met once in a tournament and it was way back in 2013.
Halep won easily then but things have changed a lot since and expect a much closer contest in the Rome final 2017.

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