Novak Djokovic will take on Dominic Thiem at the French Open
The Serb was taken to five sets by Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman and looked on the verge of an exit at times, only to power through in the final set and avoid the upset.
The women’s draw lost its defending champion on the very first day of the tournament and Thiem will be hoping he can spring a similar surprise.
The 23-year-old has never beaten Djokovic but has beaten Rafael Nadal on clay this year and is one of the surface’s form players, although when they played in the semi-final of Rome earlier this year, Thiem managed just one game.
The pair had been hoping to get out on court on Tuesday, but rain left any action impossible and their match was postponed until Wednesday at the earliest.
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Novak Djokovic v Dominic Thiem: French Open 2017 latest
Wednesday June 8
12.25pm: It's 5-0. Thiem serving for the match. The crowd can scarcely believe it. I can scarcely believe it.
I'm not sure Thiem knows what's going on but he won't care.
12:20pm: Thiem just keeps marching on. He wins the first point of the set as Djokovic leaves an uncharacteristically large gap at the near post and eventually converts the third break point of the game.
One quick hold later and the break is consolidated before the Serb practically hands his opponent a double break with a rushed, sloppy service game. Thiem leads 3-0 in the third set and the defending champion looks done.
12.05pm: An absolute beast of a backhand – off the back foot against a pretty punchy Djokovic return – brings up two set points but Thiem burns the first one trying to put too much on his second serve.
But it's a great first serve out wide and Thiem leads Djokovic two sets to love!
12pm: Time is running out for Djokovic to break back now.
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He holds to trail 5-3 and force Thiem to serve for the second set so it's now or never for the defending champion…
11.40am: We could be witnessing a real coming-of-age moment for Thiem here. His win over Nadal in Rome was massive – having lost to him twice on clay already previously in the season – but a win here would be enormous.
He holds the first game of the set and pushes Djokovic to deuce on his serve, tracking down an incredble drop shot to convert set point and now Thiem leads 2-0 in the second.
11.25am: Thiem saved three set points on his serve but has one of his own at 6-4 in the tie-break, only for Djokovic to force him to go wide. But the Serb makes his 17th unforced error and Thiem takes an epic first set 7-6 in 73 minutes.
11.15am: First-set tie-break it is…
11.05am: Ding-dong battle this is! The first seven games herald four breaks of serve in the windy, chilly conditions of Roland Garros.
Thiem is doing his best to get the ball through the court but the combination of its slowness and Djokovic's defence is making it almost impossible to win points with fewer than about four winners.
He saves three break points at 4-5 and somehow it's 5-5 on the first set.
10.50am: This wind is making it difficult for both players and after an epically long fifth game, Djokovic manages to hold. As so often happens, he immediately grabs a break himself and now serves at 4-2 up in the first.
Daily Express correspondent Matthew Dunn in Paris
"Djokovic just nudges a break ahead in what looks to be developing into an epic battle with Dominic Thiem.
"This is the sort of test Djokovic needs to hone his game sufficiently to make a potential semi-final with Rafa Nadal a mouth-watering prospect."
10.30am: First blood to Austria as Thiem breaks in the third game of the match! A terrific start from the No6 seed but it is immediately undone as Djokovic breaks back, taking the second of three break points to make it 2-2 in the first.
Novak Djokovic has been made to work for his quarter-final berth at the French Open
10.10am: We are now underway with Novak Djokovic to serve first on a half-full Suzanne Lenglen. This is a doozy of a match-up – you'd think there would be more in, even so early.
The Serb holds but is made to work for it. With this wind gusting, serving will not be easy.
9.50am: Okay – it's windy but it's not raining. So with a bit of luck we'll be able to get this game on in 10 minutes' time and get the first of today's four quarter-finals underway.
Rafael Nadal and Pablo Carreno Busta are on Philippe Chatrier at the same time.
Tuesday June 7
5.10pm: That's that. With the women's matches not even finished and more rain forecast, Roland Garros have sent Thiem and Djokovic home for dinner and an evening of merriment (presumably).
I'll see you all tomorrow then – let's hope the forecast improves…
4.55pm: The sun is out but apparently there is more rain imminent so the pleasant conditions are just temporary.
They have again pushed the 'no play before' time to 5.30pm and if the rain stays off then they might hit that.
But the local meteorologists reckon there is precipitation in the offing. We'll see…
4:35pm: This is like wet play. We've now been told there will be no play before 5pm at Roland Garros and to be honest, even that looks very optimistic.
This summer storm has even produced some hail in Paris so it could be set to stay for a while.
3.55pm: I have news but it is not great if you wanted to watch tennis this afternoon in Paris. If you wanted your garden to get watered, it's good though.
The covers had come off but now the rain has re-doubled its efforts and Roland Garros say 4.30pm at the earliest for any resumption. *sigh*
3.10pm: A weather update from Paris. It is windy, rainy, sunny and calm. Often all at the same time. Changeable is perhaps the best way to describe it.
The tennis authorities at Roland Garros say play will not start again before 4.45pm local time – that's 3.45pm over in the UK
2.25pm: Okay, well this could be a bit of a wait for Djokovic and Thiem.
The rain is coming down in Paris and Ostapenko, serving for the second set to level the match against Wozniacki, is running for cover.
There is no roof on any court at Roland Garros – although there will be one on Chatrier by 2020 – so we will just have to sit and wait for the rain to stop now.
Dominic Thiem has a clay-court win over Rafael Nadal – in Rome – to his name this year
2.15pm: This mouth-watering match-up is a re-run of last year’s semi-final through which Djokovic cruised in straight sets on his way to the title.
However, Thiem has made great strides on clay even in the last few weeks and could turn that result around.
Despite the excitement of the match, they will be on the competition’s second court – Suzanne Lenglen – after the completion of Caroline Wozniacki’s match against Jelena Ostapenko.
There is also supposed to be some rain in the air around Paris today which we can only hope stays away.