Novak Djokovic is back in the final of the French Open, earning another chance to win the only Grand Slam that has eluded him with a 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 semifinal victory against Dominic Thiem.
A first double fault from Djokovic in his first service game put him under immediate pressure, at 0-30, at the start of the third set. Thiem then worked his way to 15-40, only for Djokovic to save the first break point with a forehand winner. But he could do nothing about the second, looking on with bemusement as Thiem thumped a winner of his own into the corner to take a 2-0 lead. A service game to love from Thiem then put him 3-0 up.
But the fightback was short-lived. Two games later, a long forehand from Thiem gave Djokovic two breakpoints. He needed just the first, taking that game and then holding serve to level at 3-3.
Djokovic then went back on the offensive, breaking Thiem again in the seventh game for 4-3 and giving the young Austrian no quarter when he tried to outfox the Serb with a lob. Not only did Djokovic run to the back of the court to retrieve the ball, he then hit a winner for the point, congratulating himself with a clenched fist.
With Djokovic serving for the match at 5-4, Thiem was both fresh out of fight and ideas. Djokovic netted a forehand at 30-all to give Thiem a last-gasp break point, but he couldn't exploit it.
When Djokovic then got to match point, Thiem hit a backhand wide.
Djokovic celebrated in style, gathering together six ball boys and girls with him on court. They all raised their arms to the skies as the crowd shouted ''Ole!''