Novak Djokovic effectively waved the white flag, bowing out of the French Open in the quarter-finals, with a whimper to Dominic Thiem. On Wednesday, with a 32nd grand slam semi-final looming, he fell apart against Thiem, losing 7-6 (5) 6-3 6-0.
Before Wednesday's win Djokovic had dropped just one set in five meetings with Thiem, and brushed aside the 23-year-old easily in last year's Roland Garros semi-finals.
Carreno Busta received treatment for an abdominal problem at the end of the first set before calling it a day with Nadal leading 6-2 2-0. Roger Federer misses out injured, but Rafa Nadal, Andy Murray and defending champ Stan Wawrinka are all here. It's only the second time Djokovic lost a final set by the score of 6-0 in his 937 career tour-level matches.More news: Ariana Grande gets emotional as she closes One Love Manchester concert
When quizzed if he could put his feet up for a while, the former world No.1 said: "Trust me, I'm thinking about many things, especially in the last couple months. He was definitely the better player". "Yeah, I also have some experience to play against him".
"So what is being said is positive, but maybe I won't be up to the challenge".
Thiem trails Nadal 4-2 in career meetings but remains the only man to beat the Spaniard on clay this year after winning in the Rome quarter-finals. I have to get through it and learn the lessons and come back stronger.
Djokovic was asked during his post-match news conference whether he would prefer to take a break from tennis, rather than play through his issues. Thiem saved the first set point with a volley, then forced a backhand error on the second.More news: Alonso: I'll be back with McLaren, if we're winning
The 31-year-old Nadal has dropped only 22 games on his way to the semifinals, his most efficient run to the last four of any Grand Slam tournament.
Making matters worse for Nishikori, he was broken immediately after breaking Murray to begin the fourth.
Djokovic, whose struggles with form since a third-round exit at last year's Wimbledon have been well documented, had made a steady start at Roland Garros this year with Andre Agassi in his box for the first time. Nadal said. "I only care that I am in the semifinals".
Now the 23-year-old Thiem will face nine-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal next.More news: Tamim century lifts Bangladesh to 305-6 against England
Wawrinka, who lifted the Musketeers' Cup in 2015, ended Cilic's ordeal on his first match point with a second-serve ace.