Djokovic had represented the toughest of build-ups. Across the net, in a volatile mood while battling back from the brink a couple of times, he never looked quite at his focused best as he ended up arguing with the umpire and collecting both time and unsportsmanlike conduct violations at the end of the third set.
While he seemed to be battling with himself and the conditions as well as trying to repel Thiem’s barrage of 52 winners, though, Djokovic had no complaints as he finally saw his extraordinary run of 26 Grand Slam match wins ended.
“I don't want to point out some reasons or find excuses for this loss. I mean, he took it, he won it, and well done to him,” said Djokovic. “Credit to him. He just played the right shots and put me out of the comfortable position in the court, and then he could open up as he did in the match point and finish off with a forehand winner.
“Congratulations to him. He's playing great tennis. He showed why he's one of the best players in the world, and I wish him all the best for the final.”
Resuming at one set-all and 1-3 down in the match that had to be suspended on Friday because of high winds and rain, Djokovic, who had cut a distracted figure then, again never seemed completely settled on another difficult day even if he appeared in a more resolute mood.
“One of the worst conditions I have ever been part of,” he said of Friday’s fare, when he was shocked to even see an umbrella flying across his path on court.