Fourth-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem outlasted top-seeded Serbian Novak Djokovic in a weather-delayed semifinal at the French Open on Saturday, winning 6-2, 3-6, 7-5, 5-7, 7-5 in Paris.
The match lasted four hours, 13 minutes and was delayed by rain three times over two days.
“It was an amazing match. It was my first five-set match at Roland Garros so it was a good one to have,” Thiem said.
Thiem, 25, is seeking his first Grand Slam title as he makes his second straight appearance in the final. He lost in straight sets last year to Rafael Nadal.
Nadal, the second seed, dispatched Roger Federer on Friday in the first semifinal.
“He will be the favorite, but I hope to just leave it all out on the court again and we will see,” said Thiem, who could join Thomas Muster (1995 French Open) as Austria’s second Grand Slam men’s champion.
Djokovic, 32, fell short in his bid for a second title at the French Open, the only major tournament he hasn’t won at least three times. It also ended a 26-match Grand Slam win streak and his shot at a second time holding all four major titles at once.
“I congratulate Dominic. He played great, especially in the important moments,” said Djokovic, who had complained about the high winds inside the stadium. “Obviously, when you’re playing in hurricane-like conditions, it’s hard to play your best.”
Thiem is now 3-6 against Djokovic overall and 3-3 on clay. Djokovic won the previous meeting, a 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4) result on clay at the Mutua Madrid Open semifinals in May.
Nadal, who has won the event 11 times and boasts a 92-2 record on the famed clay courts, has dropped just one set during his run to the final.
The Spanish star is 8-4 against Thiem overall and has beaten him in straight sets all three times they have met at the French Open.
–Field Level Media