Novak Djokovic is out of the French Open after being stunned by 72nd-ranked Marco Cecchinato on Monday. The 12-time Grand Slam winner fought through a bothersome neck and right leg before falling to Cecchinato, who before Monday was most well-known for a match-fixing suspension that was eventually overturned on appeal.
Now Cecchinato, who hadn't won a Grand Slam match until last week, is into the French Open semifinals after humbling Djokovic 6-3, 7-6 (4), 1-6, 7-6 (11). He's the lowest-seed men's singles player to reach the semifinal at Roland-Garros in 19 years.
"He held his nerves amazingly well in important moments," Djokovic told the Associated Press, adding he isn't certain whether he will play at Wimbledon. His job is only going to get tougher going up against No. 7 Dominic Thiem, who in Tuesday's other quarerfinal put together an excellent performance to defeat No. 2 Alexander Zverev. Unforced errors were the difference in the match, with Zverev committing 42 to Thiem's 20 en route to a sweep. Zverev exits still seeking his first semifinal appearance in a major, while Thiem advances to his third consecutive French Open semifinal. Thiem lost to Novak Djokovic in 2016 and Rafael Nadal in 2017.
On the women's side, American Madison Keys is moving on to her first semifinal at Roland Garros just a day after shewithout dropping a set and advanced to the 2018 French Open quarterfinals.
Topping the unseeded Yulia Putintseva with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 straight-sets decision on Tuesday, the 23-year-old American has ensured she's on the best French Open journey of her career by coming from behind and taking U.S. representation to the semis. Either she or Sloane Stephens, the 2017 US Open winner, is now set to depart this year's French Open as the top-ranked American on the court -- a title that only three different players have owned since 2007.
The No. 13-seeded Keys will be going up against No. 10 Stephens, her friend and rival, who defeated Daria Kasatkina in straight sets 6-3, 6-1 to advance to her second semifinal in her last three Grand Slam appearances. Her last appearance, of course, came in the US Open in September, where Stephens defeated Keys 6-3, 6-0 to cap off a dominant US Open showing.
Stephens looked fantastic against Kasatkina, breaking Kasatkina's serve five times. She also had her serve broken just once. This will be her first appearance in the French Open semifinal. Keys and Stephens may be fellow countrywomen, but as first-time semifinalists at the French Open, it's going to be nothing but competition when they meet.
Tuesday's French Open results
- No. 13 Madison Keys defeats Yulia Putintseva 7-6, 6-4
- No. 10 Sloane Stephens defeats No. 14 Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 6-1
- No. 7 Dominic Thiem defeats No. 2 Alexander Zverev 6-4, 6-2, 6-1
- Marco Cecchinato defeats No. 20 Novak Djokovic 6-3, 7-6, 1-6, 7-6