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Like a ‘hurricane’: Djokovic blasts ‘worst’ ever conditions after Paris exit

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Austria’s Dominic Thiem celebrates after winning against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic at the end of the men’s singles semi-final match on day fourteen of The Roland Garros 2019 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on June 8, 2019. (Photo by Martin BUREAU / AFP)

Novak Djokovic said his shock Roland Garros defeat to Dominic Thiem, which ended his dream of becoming just the second man in history to hold all Grand Slam titles at the same time twice, was played out in “hurricane conditions”.

Thiem downed the world number one 6-2, 3-6, 7-5, 5-7, 7-5 to set up a repeat of last year’s final against 11-time winner and defending champion Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic, who was second best to Thiem when it came to mastering the gloom, wind and damp of Paris, was bidding to join Rod Laver in the Grand Slam history books.

“When you’re playing in hurricane kind of conditions, it’s hard to perform your best,” said Djokovic.

“It’s really just kind of surviving in these kind of conditions and trying to hold your serve and play, you know, one ball more than your opponent in the court.

“That’s what it felt like playing yesterday, to be honest.

“I don’t want to point out some reasons or find excuses for this loss. I mean, he took it, he won it, and well done to him.”

The match had been controversially suspended on Friday night with the match at one set each but with Thiem up 3-1 in the third and with all the momentum on his side.

Winds of 80km/h were forecast for the evening.

Asked to describe the conditions, Djokovic added: “One of the worst conditions I have ever been part of. That’s all I can tell you.”


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