Their respective goals
To win the title, of course.
But at 32, Djokovic is gunning to become the first man in the Open Era to hold all four Grand Slams at the same time, twice. He achieved it in 2015-16, sealing the quartet here, and is aiming for an exact repeat here. If he lifts the Coupe des Mousquetaires on Sunday, it will be his 16th Grand Slam title in all.
By contrast, 25-year-old Thiem’s biggest achievement on the Grand Slam stage was here 12 months ago, as runner-up to 11-time champion Rafael Nadal. He is the only active men’s player under 28 to have reached a Grand Slam final, and this will be his fourth consecutive year in the semis here.
The state of play
Going into this semi-final, Djokovic leads their career meetings 6-2, including 3-2 on outdoor clay. But among the latter encounters was their 2017 quarter-final here, where Thiem trounced his opponent in straight sets. Their only meeting so far this year was in the Madrid semis, where Djokovic edged through in two tiebreaks.
The telling statistics
Zverev was able to mount a first-set challenge in the quarter-final because Djokovic’s first serve was off, and he was winning only 63% of points on it. In the second and third sets, it was back in the 80s.
But something is going to have to give, because Thiem’s serve this fortnight has been very nearly as productive, gleaning 80% of points on his first serve. Thiem has lost his serve eight times to Djokovic’s three.