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Thiem eliminates Federer and will play the semis against Djokovic

Thiem eliminates Federer and will play the semis against Djokovic

The world number one, Novak Djokovic, will face Austrian Dominic Thiem in the semifinals of the Madrid tournament, who beat Roger Federer in the quarterfinals on Friday, cutting off the Swiss’s progression on his return to clay three years later.

The Austrian, world number 5 and who had already beaten Federer this year in the Indian Wells final, won in two hours and ten minutes after lifting two match balls in the very long tiebreaker that marked the second set.

Federer, who returned to compete on clay, three years after being eliminated in the round of 16 in Rome in 2016, precisely against Thiem, was satisfied with his three matches played in Madrid.

“I think I’ve had some good games here, especially the last two,” said the world number three after the game.

– ‘I feel good’ –

“The first one (against Richard Gasquet) was good to start with and obviously Gael (Monfils) and Dominic are very difficult on gravel, so I think it was a good fight. I feel good on clay now, “added Federer.

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The Swiss, who aims for Roland Garros, did not want, however, to reveal if he will play in Rome before storming the Parisian clay.

“I will probably decide on the weekend, but I don’t know if I’m going to go,” he said.

Federer, who had suffered the day before to beat Frenchman Gael Monfils 6-0, 4-6, 7-6 (7/3), started overwhelming in the first set, supported by his solid serve, but things began to change in the second sleeve.

Thiem began to feel more confident with his serve and from the back of the court.

Federer lifted three break balls in the sixth game to maintain the parity 3-3 and consolidate an equalizer that was undone in a very long tiebreak after reaching 6-6.

Federer had two match balls in the tie break that he did not take advantage of, while Thiem managed to take the set to sixth.

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– Djokovic to the semifinals without playing –

In the third set, with 4-4 on the scoreboard, Thiem made a ‘break’ to get ahead and close the game with his serve, achieving his pass to the semifinals, where Djokovic awaits him.

The Serbian did not even have to play his match, scheduled as the first of the day, when his rival, the Croatian Marin Cilic, withdrew from food poisoning.

«It was a shame. It would have been a great match, ”said ‘Nole’, who wished Cilic could be in Rome.

The Serb admitted, however, that this setback will allow him to “be fresh for my semi-final” on Saturday.

The other ticket for the final of the Madrid tournament will be disputed by the winner of the match between the German Alexander Zverev and the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, against the winner of the match that will be played at night by Rafa Nadal and Stan Wawrinka.

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In the women’s draw, the Romanian Simona Halep became the first finalist this Friday after beating the Swiss Belinda Bencic 6-2, 6-7 (3/7), 6-0 and placing herself within a victory of being number one of the world.

The number three in the WTA ranking, winner of the Madrid Masters 1000 in 2016 and 2017, accelerated in the last heat to take the match and the ticket to the final in almost two hours of matches.

The Romanian would become world number one if she wins the final, but Halep says she doesn’t think too much about it.

«First I have to win here… I don’t want to think about that. For me it is more important to win the trophy here than to be number one, “he said at a press conference.

The Romanian will face in the final the winner of the match between the Dutch Kiki Bertens and the American Sloane Stephens. AFP

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