French Open

Djokovic beaten in thriller

2010-06-02 20:42
Jurgen Melzer (AFP)

Paris - Austrian journeyman Jurgen Melzer fought back from two sets down to beat third seed Novak Djokovic 3-6, 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7/3), 6-4 on Wednesday and set-up a French Open semi-final against Rafael Nadal.

After dropping the first two sets, the 29-year-old Melzer was also a break down in the third before he staged a spectacular recovery to become the first Austrian to reach the last four since former winner Thomas Muster in 1995.

The 22nd seeded Melzer has made his staggering breakthrough at his 32nd Grand Slam, having never got beyond the third round of a major before.

After cruising through the first two sets, Djokovic's brittle temperament came back to haunt him and in a tense final set he was broken in the ninth game when he dumped a backhand volley into the net.

Incredibly it was the 24th break point he had faced in the 4hr 17min match.

In the next game, Melzer wasted a match point when he netted a simple forehand volley with the entire court at his mercy and then another as he scrambled to reach a Djokovic drive.

But he bravely held his nerve to clinch a famous triumph when Djokovic went long with a forehand.

"It's the most incredible moment of my career," said Melzer, the oldest man left in the competition and who had never previously come back after losing the first two sets.

The 23-year-old Djokovic, who made the last four in 2007 and 2008, losing to Nadal on both occasions, dominated the first two sets.

He broke in the eighth game on his way to securing the first set and repeated the trick in the third and seventh games of the second.

By this stage Melzer looked on course for a routine defeat as he wilted under the Djokovic barrage.

The world number three was then 2-0 ahead in the third set and seemingly cruising before left-handed Melzer rallied in spectacular style.

After squandering six earlier break points, Melzer finally broke through to level the set at 2-2 and then raced through the next four games to snatch the set from Djokovic whose grip on the match was suddenly loosened.

In a marathon eighth game of the fourth set, a weary-looking Djokovic fought off seven break points before Melzer served two successive love games to lead 6-5 and ratchet up the pressure.

The Serbian held on with a sweet, running backhand taking the enthralling set into tiebreak.

Melzer raced to a 6-0 lead in the breaker. Djokovic saved three set points but a misguided backhand gave the gallant Austrian the fourth set which had taken 71 minutes to complete and sent the clash into its dramatic finale.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

Teenager Coric stuns Nadal

2014-10-24 21:14

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

 

3 must-do trail runs

If you love trail running, you have to put these on your bucket list.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Tips for paddling your first Dusi
Climbing the world’s largest stone arch
Awesome extreme sports people
Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route
Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.