Djokovic in trouble as rain stops play

Novak Djokovic’s semi-final against Dominic Thiem got rained out, but he will return to court at midday on Saturday trailing 6-2 3-6 3-1. (AFP pic)

PARIS: Novak Djokovic’s hope of winning a fourth straight Grand Slam title was in jeopardy at the French Open on Friday when rain interrupted his semi-final against Austrian Dominic Thiem.

The 32-year-old Serb will return to court at midday on Saturday trailing 6-2 3-6 3-1 and with plenty of work to do if he is to get a crack at Rafael Nadal in the final.

Top seed Djokovic is bidding to become the first man in the professional era to twice hold the four big prizes in tennis simultaneously.

In gusty winds, Thiem’s powerful groundstrokes helped him dominate the first set and Djokovic was in trouble early in the second when he fended off a break point.

He got the crucial break in the eighth game of the second set, however, when a Thiem forehand kissed the netcord and flew long and Djokovic levelled the match.

With rain clouds closing in Thiem broke serve with a huge forehand early in the third, shortly before play was suspended for the day.

The semi-final will resume at 12.00pm local time (1000GMT) on Saturday, organisers said.

With 11-times champion Nadal safely through, organisers said they still hope for a Sunday finish.

Nadal beat Roger Federer in straight sets in the first semi.