Grand Slams are definitely the wow moment of every tennis season. Roland Garros is no different: ATP and WTA players and tennis fans all over the world enjoy the French Open intensively. Having enchanting Paris summer as the perfect spot, Roland Garros always delivers great matches and some exciting and unexpected outcomes.

Roland Garros 2018 is still running, but this year’s big surprise has a name: the 25 years old Italian Marco Cecchinato.


It all happened today on the Phillippe Cartrier court. Former #1 and Roland Garros 2016 champ Novak Djokovic was the absolute favorite to win the match and to reach the Major semi-finals where he was to face 7th seed Austrian Dominic Thiem, who earlier defeated german’s phenomenon Alexander Zverev (6/4, 6/2, 6/1).

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Marco Cecchinato was the underdog: ranked 72nd on the ATP rankings and having conquered his first and only ATP championship last April in Budapest, Cecchinato was the horse a few would place a bet on against multi-champion Novak Djokovic on a Roland Garros quarterfinals. Not only Djokovic holds astonishing 68 ATP titles (including 12 Grand Slams), but the Serbian career’s prize money sums up more than $110 million, while Cecchinato is still working hard to gather his first million dollars (currently $998,735).

But the reason we love sports is that anything can happen, in theory. And it did happen! While Djoko played a very inconsistent tennis and suffered to find his best shots, Marco Cecchinato seemed  to be comfortable and enjoying the match since the beginning. After cruising to take the first set (6/3), the Italian kept focused to win the second set tiebreaker (7-4). Djokovic, who apparently had some physical problems during the match, battled hard and quickly took the third set (6/1) and for a few minutes Marco Cecchinato’s dream was apparently falling apart. But the Italian regained his momentum during the second half of the fourth set, played a heroic tie-breaker (13-11) and booked his spot on the semi-finals.


Dominc Thiem will face an overwhelmed Cecchinato next Thursday and the odds are he shall reach the finals. Cecchinato, despite of enjoying his dream tournament in Paris and having shocked players like Djokovic and Pablo Carreno Busta, is technically far below the Austrian who is a clay specialist and refereed as the only man that could hypothetically defeat 10 times Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal in the finals.  Thiem will have to keep playing his best tennis, indeed, if he is not willing to be third seeded player to be upset by Cecchinato in his magical run. Given what happened today on Phillippe Chatrier, he’d better be prepared for a tough battle.

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