French Open: Dominic Thiem knocked out by Diego Schwartzman in five sets
Schwartzman will face 12-time champion Rafael Nadal, who he beat on his way to the Italian Open final last month, in the semi-finals
Last Updated: 07/10/20 11:27am
World No 3 Dominic Thiem is out of the French Open after losing an epic five-set battle of attrition against Diego Schwartzman in the quarter-finals.
The Austrian, who won the US Open last month, was beaten 7-6 (7-1) 5-7 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 after five hours and eight minutes of drama as 13th seed Schwartzman reached his first Grand Slam semi-final.
Schwartzman made it a double celebration for Argentina after Nadia Podoroska earlier became the first qualifier to reach the semi-finals of the women's singles.
The world No 14 had lost his last three encounters with Thiem but pulled clear to win the last four games of the fifth set and deny Thiem a place in the French Open final four for the fifth consecutive year.
The match, which was largely played in blustery conditions on Court Philippe-Chatrier, featured 19 breaks of serve.
Schwartzman will now face 12-time champion Rafael Nadal, who he beat on his way to the Italian Open final last month.
"Dominic is one of the best players right now in the world," said Schwartzman in his on-court interview.
"He won the last Grand Slam, he is a two-time finalist here, and I have a lot of respect for him.
"That's why this match is very important for me. I played a few five-setters here and I never won. I think at the end this night I deserved to win."
The Argentinian recovered from the frustration of losing his serve in the sixth game of the match to an over-rule from the umpire, which proved incorrect, to break back immediately and win the opening set on a one-sided tiebreak.
Either side of both players trading breaks of serve in the early stages of the second set there was a brief interruption to play as Schwartzman argued the conditions were dangerous amid a rain shower.
Thiem, who was pushed to five sets by French wildcard Hugo Gaston in the fourth round, later broke Schwartzman at 5-5 before going on to close out the set to level the match.
Schwartzman failed to convert on a set point on Thiem's serve at 5-4 in the third set and was then broken when he served for the set.
Thiem surged into a 5-1 lead in the tiebreak but was pegged back to 6-6 - epitomising the ebb and flow of the contest - before he regained his focus to eventually convert his third set point.
Schwartzman hit back from 2-0 down in the fourth set to win four unanswered games and appeared set to force a deciding set when he had three set points on his serve at 5-4.
However, Thiem saved all three, the latter with a remarkable forehand winner which left Schwartzman speechless, to break back only for the Argentinian to win another thrilling tiebreak, in which Thiem was two points from victory, to extend the match further.
The fifth set appeared set to be another tight affair but Thiem's energy levels began to dip and Schwartzman broke to lead 4-2, before he sealed victory on his first match point when the Austrian netted with a weary-looking drop shot.
Thiem admitted: "To be honest, I was over the limit today. But if I had won, I mean, like Diego in that case, he has two days off now. Maybe I would have recovered.
"Even though I'm physically and mentally on the edge, you never know in a slam. Especially with tomorrow and Thursday off, two full days to recover. You never know what's happening.
"But at the end I gave everything I had out there. It was an amazing match. I think the first in my career over five hours. Diego fully deserves it."