Thiem too good for Johnson, remains on collision course with Djokovic

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Dominic Thiem eased to a straight-sets victory over Steve Johnson to keep his French Open campaign rolling along nicely at Roland Garros.

The Austrian reached the semi-finals last year before being undone by eventual champion Novak Djokovic and remains on course for a rematch with the Serbian in the last eight.

Standing in his way before that is a fourth-round meeting with Horacio Zeballos, who benefited from David Goffin's unfortunate withdrawal following an awkward fall earlier on Friday.

After sealing a 6-1 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 success on Court 1, Thiem warmly embraced Johnson, who had broken down in tears following his second-round win over Borna Coric, a matter of weeks after the death of his father.

Perhaps drained by the emotion of Wednesday, Johnson started slowly and was broken at the first time of asking courtesy of a pair of unforced errors.

An emphatic smash handed Thiem another break and put the first set beyond Johnson, who saved a break point in the opening game of the second with an ace down the middle.

More strong serving from Johnson rescued a pair of further break points at 4-4, the American then erring twice in the next game as two set points went begging.

Again Johnson saved himself going a break down at 5-5, but the respite was brief as Thiem's rasping forehand closed out the tie-break.

The world number 26 continued to show his battling qualities by staving off half a dozen break points at the start of the third, but ultimately he relented as he went long on a seventh.

A marvellous forehand return from Johnson immediately brought things back on serve, but Thiem found another gear to restore his break, holding to love before seeing out victory and setting up a clash with Zeballos, for which he will be favourite.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Thiem [6] bt Johnson [25] 6-1 7-6 (7-4) 6-3

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Thiem - 45/19
Johnson - 20/35

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Thiem - 10/4
Johnson - 5/1

BREAK POINTS WON
Thiem - 4/15
Johnson - 1/4

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Thiem - 68
Johnson - 61

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Thiem - 87/65
Johnson - 65/37

TOTAL POINTS
Thiem - 118
Johnson - 80