Title-chasing Thiem gears up for tough Nadal test

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Defending champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia was knocked out in the quarterfinals when he lost 7-6 (5), 6-3, 6-0 to Austrian sixth seed Dominic Thiem.

Thiem is the only player to beat the history-chasing Spaniard on clay this year, in the Italian capital before losing to Djokovic, but knows he will need to produce something special to repeat that feat in Paris.

After a tight first set which Thiem took after prevailing 7-5 in the tiebreak, the Austrian cruised to his first win in six meetings with the 12-time major victor.

"I mean, it's a joke how tough it is to win a slam", Thiem, told reporters after beating Djokovic 7-6 (5) 6-3 6-0 in the quarter-finals.

The defeat was Djokovic's first straight-set loss at a Major in four years and comes just 12 months after he completed the career Grand Slam in Paris.

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Rafael Nadal advanced to the French Open semifinals for the 10th time when Pablo Carreno Busta retired from their match because of injury.

Record nine-time champion Nadal broke Carreno Busta four times in the opening set, with the 20th seed forced to quit after just 51 minutes due to an abdominal problem.

The men's quarterfinals on the other half of the draw later Wednesday were Murray vs. Kei Nishikori, and Stan Wawrinka vs. Marin Cilic. Just a pretty bad set. I lost that crucial break in the beginning of the second, and he started serving better, backing it up with the first shot.

"The past few months, I have been playing very well", said Nadal.

"It was flawless today, I'm very satisfied", said reigning US Open champion Wawrinka after a 12th win in 14 meetings with Cilic. "It is a big challenge and I'm up for it".

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Similar to Djokovic, Murray entered the French Open in, for him, poor form.

His defeat by Thiem was his first in six meetings with the young Austrian. So I guess you've got to go through it, learn your lessons and figure out the way.

"He's played fantastic this tournament so far", Murray said of the 32-year-old, the oldest Roland Garros semi-finalist since Jimmy Connors in 1985.

The tiebreak was nip and tuck with a succession of points against the serve but Thiem took it when Djokovic shovelled a tight-looking backhand into the net.

Wawrinka's lone worrying moment resulted when he nearly turned an ankle near the net in the last game against Cilic.

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