Did Djokovic 'tank' during 6-0 shock at the French Open?

John McEnroe cries foul as defending champion loses to Dominic Thiem in straight sets at Roland Garros

Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem
Novak Djokovic congratulates Dominic Thiem after their French Open quarter-final match
(Image credit: Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic was dumped out of the French Open by Austrian Dominic Thiem, with the reigning champion going down in straight sets and losing the last of them 6-0.

"The Serb virtually gave up in the third set in what was a shocking end to his title defence," says The Guardian. "The result was all the more remarkable given the Austrian won just a single game the last time they met at the Italian Open in Rome three weeks ago. He had only won one set in all their five previous meetings and lost easily to Djokovic here in the last four 12 months ago."

It was the first time Djokovic has suffered a "bagel" at a major tournament since 2005 and TV commentator John McEnroe described it as "tank city", reports the Daily Telegraph.

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"Tanking, in tennis, means giving up. It can carry a penalty fine for lack of effort, although this option is unlikely to be used against a player as illustrious as Djokovic," the paper's Simon Briggs says.

"Thiem put in a superb performance, but on a day of blustery winds, Djokovic showed little hint of the competitive instincts that have made him the world’s best player for so much of this decade."

Djokovic became the first man to hold all four Grand Slam titles since Rod Laver in 1969 when he won in Paris last year, but Stuart Fraser of The Times. says he is a "a shadow of the player" he was then

According to the journalist, there was an "air of resignation" over Djokovic from the moment he blew a break of serve in the first set and Thiem took control.

"Djokovic even refused afterwards to rule out taking a break from the sport after his astonishing slump in form," Fraser adds. "He will drop out of the world’s top two on Monday for the first time since March 2011."

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