A titanic struggle. A marathon of more than five sets and, at the end of this long road, the fall of one of the big favorites of this Roland-Garros 2020. Dominic Thiem fell arms in hand Tuesday against Diego Schwartzman (7-6, 5-7, 6-7, 7-6, 6-2) after a battle of five hours and eight minutes. The Argentinean will play the first semi-final of his Grand Slam career. The correct validation of its recent progress. Thiem, he ended up physically sinking. For the first time since 2015, it will not be at the last Parisian square. After having given so much, it is both terribly cruel and anything but illogical in view of the debates.
There are several ways to read this extraordinary fight. On the one hand, Dominic Thiem went twice within two points of the victory in the 4th set, to 6-5, then to 5-5 in the decisive game. He will also have broken first in each of the first four rounds. The Austrian therefore did not go far and when he led 2-0, 30-0 at the start of the 4th round, it was even legitimate to think that Schwartzman would not recover. But “El Peque”, the Little One, has canes of fire, several lungs and heart. He didn’t give up and that tightrope match ended up tipping irretrievably in his favor in the final act.
Thiem’s physique finally gave out
There, Thiem held up to two everywhere. Then he stopped playing. The tank completely empty, the recent winner of the US Open exploded, like this match point where his backhand cushioning looked like a sponge throw. 48 hours after getting out of it in five rounds, already against Hugo Gaston, the world number 3 has paid the bill. Especially since there are five sets and five sets. This Tuesday was the brutal type, with long dies and wrought iron strikes. It is finally quite logical that such a physical match ends up being decided on this aspect.
If the Argentinian passed close to a precipice, paradoxically he could just as easily have won in three sets. If he had bowed, he would probably even have wondered for a long time how he could have let slip the third round, the most improbable of all with its… eight breaks in twelve games. Schwartzman, 5-3 serve to follow, then delivered a foul play on his faceoff, before missing a set point in stride on that of his opponent at 5-4. All this to get caught in the decisive game.
Dominic Thiem in the quarterfinals, abused by Schwartzman
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Schwartzman could have paid dearly
He might as well have tortured his mind if he had given up the 4th set. Here again, the recent finalist from Rome has complicated his life. 5-4, 40-0 on his serve. Thiem was then magnificent, with a forehand long line from elsewhere to dismiss the third set point, but Schwartzman, all the same, still lacked lucidity when it came time to conclude. This often chaotic management of the most decisive points will also have almost cost the native of Buenos Aires the match. On arrival, his merit is even greater for having found the exit door for what constitutes, to date, the greatest victory of his career.
Regrets, Dominic Thiem can feed some too. It is rare not to have it over the distance of the five sets, and even less over that of the five hours. But the identity of his tormentor (the two men appreciate each other greatly and the first moments after the match point were warm despite the context), the fact of having opened his record in Grand Slam last month will ease the pain. Just like its limits of the day. Surprisingly fragile against Hugo Gaston, Thiem was not quite himself on Tuesday either. Considering the dimension taken by Diego Schwartzman, it has not forgiven.
Diego Schwartzman, victorious over Dominic Thiem in the quarter-finals
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