Dominic Thiem admitted he had nothing more left to give as his Grand Slam winning streak was ended by Diego Schwartzman on Tuesday.
He lost in an epic five-setter in the French Open quarter-finals.
Schwartzman, the 12th seed, prevailed 7-6(1) 5-7 6-7(6) 7-6(5) 6-2 on court Philippe Chatrier.
He thus set up a meeting with either Italian Jannik Sinner or 12-time champion Rafael Nadal, whom he beat in the quarter-finals of the Italian Open last month.
Thiem, a finalist at Roland Garros in the last two years, had won his previous 11 matches at majors following his U.S. Open victory last month.
But, on Tuesday, the diminutive Schwartzman was too big a mountain to climb.
“I was over the limit today,” Austrian third seed Thiem, who had already come through a draining five-set encounter to knock out French wildcard Hugo Gaston in the previous round, told a news conference.
“In the end I gave everything I had out there. It was an amazing match. I think the first in my career over five hours. Diego fully deserves it.”
Thiem put on a smile after match-point in spite of missing out on a fifth consecutive semi-final appearance at the French Open.
It was a feat only managed by Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Nadal.
“In general, I’m not sad with my performance here in Roland Garros,” said the 27-year-old, who clinched his maiden Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows.
“I mean, it was a pretty short time with the long trip home, jet lag, and everything.
“Then, of course, the first slam, which is a special thing. Come here, play in pretty brutal conditions, I would say. I cannot say it was a bad tournament, I’m pretty happy about it.”
Thiem said his tank was empty in the decider.
“I think if I would have wanted to win that match, I should have done it in four.
“In the fifth set, he was just a little bit more fresh and better than me,” said Thiem, who said the pain of defeat was lessened by seeing a friend advance into the last four.
“I’m happy for him. Maybe to lose against a friend hurts a little bit less, yeah,” he said. (Reuters/NAN)