Paris – World number 72 Marco Cecchinato became the first Italian man in 40 years to reach a Grand Slam semi-final on Tuesday with a breathtaking 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 1-6, 7-6 (13/11) epic victory over 12-time major winner Novak Djokovic.
Cecchinato, who had never won a Grand Slam match in his career before Roland Garros, goes on to face Austrian seventh seed Dominic Thiem for a place in Sunday’s final.
In an epic fourth set tiebreaker, Djokovic saved three match points but wasted three set points as Cecchinato became the lowest-ranked man in the semi-finals in Paris since 100th-ranked Andrei Medvedev in 1999.
In a roller-coaster of a quarter-final, both men were warned for coaching, 2016 champion Djokovic required two medical timeouts and the Italian was docked a point for unsportsmanlike behaviour.
Djokovic also squandered three set points in the second set and failed to serve out the fourth in the ninth game after being 5-2 in front.