Tennis

McEnroe blasts Djokovic for 'giving up'

US tennis legend says Djokovic looked like he 'didn't want to be out there' in quarter-final loss to Thiem

American tennis great John McEnroe accused Novak Djokovic of giving up in his stunning French Open exit at the hands of Dominic Thiem on Wednesday.

Defending champion Djokovic collapsed to a meek 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 6-0 loss to Thiem in what was his earliest exit at Roland Garros in seven years.

Defeat also meant that just 12 months after holding all four Grand Slam titles, the 30-year-old was left fighting to prove he is still a relevant force in the sport.

"I don't remember seeing a time in the last six to eight years when Novak mailed it in," seven-time Major winner McEnroe told the BBC.

"He basically gave up."

The loss was just the ninth time that Djokovic had suffered a 6-0 "bagel" set and first at a Slam since facing France's Gael Monfils at the US Open in 2005 when he was still a teenager.

"It looked in the third set like he just didn't want to be out there, couldn't compete any more, and that's shocking for a guy that's won as much as he has and prides himself on competition," said McEnroe.

"It just shows you everyone's human."

McEnroe added: "If you had told me a year ago, when he was the only guy since Rod Laver holding all four Slams that this is what we'd be talking about now, I'd have told you you were nuts."

Thiem, 23, plays nine-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal next.

In the other men's singles semi-final today, world No. 1 Andy Murray, conqueror of Kei Nishikori, takes on a red-hot Stan Wawrinka, who outclassed Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-3, 6-1.

According to three-time Roland Garros champion Mats Wilander, Murray will have his work cut out for him.

Wilander, who described Wawrinka's run so far here as "scary", told Reuters: "He can win it.

"Not many players can 'win' a Grand Slam like Stan.

"They can prevent losing it by wearing the other guy down, but he can go out there and win it off his racket."

Wawrinka has won all 15 sets he has played, knocking over dangerous opponents like Fabio Fognini, Monfils and Cilic without any fuss.

Against Cilic, he won 79 per cent of points on his second serve and won half the points off the Croatian's mighty delivery.

"He (Wawrinka) is playing great tennis. Very aggressive, but controlled," Wilander said.

"He blew the seventh seed off court. That's some seriously good tennis.

"Wawrinka in these Majors, he is as big a favourite as (Roger) Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray these days, no difference between the five of them.

"Second week of the Slams, he is part of the big four, big five.

"Actually of the guys left, Nadal might be a little less scared of Murray, who plays a more controlled game.

"Wawrinka and Thiem are wild, they can be scary for sure. Nadal hasn't won this yet."-WIRE SERVICES

French Opennovak djokovictennis