Novak Djokovic is out of the French Open after Italy’s Marco Cecchinato beat him to reach the semi-finals in a huge shock in Paris. Djokovic, 31, saved three match points and missed three set points before the world number 72 finally won 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 1-6 7-6 (13-11). Cecchinato, 25, had never won a main-draw match at a Grand Slam before this year’s Roland Garros. He will face Austria’s Dominic Thiem in the last four.
Their meeting on Friday means there is guaranteed to be at least one first-time Slam finalist. Seventh seed Thiem reached his third Roland Garros semi-final with a straight-set win against Germany’s second seed Alexander Zverev, who also struggled with injury. Cecchinato, who was banned for match-fixing in 2016 before having the suspension overturned, is the first Italian man to reach a Grand Slam semi-final since 1978. He is also the lowest-ranked player to reach this stage at Roland Garros since world number 100 Andrei Medvedev in 1999.
Cecchinato knocked out eighth seed David Goffin and 10th seed Pablo Carreno Busta in previous rounds, and said the achievement had “changed his life”.