French Open 2018 - Dominic Thiem vs Alexander Zverev Preview

GETTYNovak Djokovic faces Fernando Verdasco on Sunday in the French Open

Zverev began to let rip, snatching one game back, but the outcome was inevitable and Thiem put him out of his misery with a routine backhand victor into a wide-open court.

To say that Zverev has endured a hard route to the last eight would be some understatement.

The 21-year-old played some stunning tennis in the closing stages of a dramatic 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 fourth-round victory and will next face Dominic Thiem who reached a third successive quarter-final here by seeing off Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-2, 6-0, 5-7, 6-4.

On Tuesday, he became the first Italian to reach the last four at a major in 40 years by beating 12-times Grand Slam champion and 2016 Roland Garros victor Novak Djokovic on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

"Just a pity that I couldn't capitalise on the chances in the 4-1 in the fourth set and some break points".

Up next for Keys is Kazakh Yulia Putintseva, who upset 26th seed Czech Barbora Strycova 6-4 6-3.

Play was suspended due to fading light, with Russian Daria Kasatkina leading 7-6 (5) 3-3 against second-seeded Caroline Wozniacki.

Cecchinato became the lowest-ranked semi-finalist at Roland Garros since No. 100 Andrei Medvedev advanced to the last four back in 1999.

It was a disappointing end to Zverev's tournament, but at least he leaves Paris having got rid of a couple of statistics that were hanging over his head. "It will be a pleasure to play against Novak".

Novak Djokovic matched Roger Federer's mark of reaching nine consecutive quarter-finals at Roland Garros by beating No. 30 seed Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. Hard courts certainly are to the world No. 2's liking, with clay bringing less success.

Simona Halep predicts Garbine Muguruza plan for French Open clash
Stephens has made the second week in Paris in five of her seven appearances and Keys is slowly coming to terms with the surface. Backed by fans who loudly chanted her first name between games, Halep went ahead 3-0 with the help of only one victor .

For the former champion, though, it was not to be as he came up against the unseeded Marco Cecchinato in blistering form, and lost a gruelling and highly intense four-setter, 6-3, 7-6 (4), 1-6, 7-6 (11). "In the event you're mentally tired, then one thing is unsuitable with you", mentioned Zverev, the youngest males's quarterfinalist on the French Open since Juan Martin del Potro in 2009.

But he cut a forlorn figure as Thiem triumphed in one hour and 50 minutes.

US Open champion Sloane Stephens is through to the French Open semifinals for the first time, joining fellow American Madison Keys. "I'm expecting another five-set match", Zverev said with a smile.

He was fortunate to survive a break point when serving for the set at 5-3, before drawing level at two sets apiece with an ace.

He added: "The first time I felt a pull was in the fourth game of the first set when we had a few great points, a lot of physical points".

"I love these conditions; it was the first time for me on Court Philippe Chatrier not playing against Rafa, so I could enjoy the court", he joked.

Thiem won 78 per cent on his first serves, and 68 per cent on second serves, both over 20 percent higher than that of Zverev.

German hope Alexander Zverev experienced his third straight five-set thriller to reach his first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the 2018 French Open on Sunday.

Somehow, Cecchinato won the one that mattered most, the last. He moved through Tuesday's quarterfinals 6-4, 6-2, 6-1, reports Xinhua news agency.

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