Published: Sat, May 11, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Roger Federer loses to Dominic Thiem in Madrid Open quarterfinals

Roger Federer loses to Dominic Thiem in Madrid Open quarterfinals

By beating Gaël Monfils to reach the quarter-finals of the Madrid Open yesterday, Roger Federer claimed the 1,200th win of his career at the tender age of 37.

The Frenchman continued to have the upper hand in the third jumping out to a 4-1 lead until Federer roared back.

Federer, defeated 3-6, 7-6 (13/11), 6-4 by the Austrian, was back on clay this week for the first time since May 2016, when he was beaten by Thiem in Rome.

Swiss Federer saved match points in his quarter-final on Thursday but squandered two of his own in the second-set tie-break against Thiem. The Madrid Open is his first clay tournament as he prepares to return to the French Open after a three-year absence.

Federer skipped the clay swing the past two years to remain fit for the rest of the season. He chose to return this year in preparation for his first French Open appearance since 2015. He has already won two hard-court titles this season, in Dubai and Miami, and is seeking his third Madrid trophy, and first since 2012.

The second set was a lot tighter, although Thiem, the Indian Wells and Barcelona Open champion, was unable to solve the conundrum of how to break the Federer serve.

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In the women's quarterfinals, top-ranked Naomi Osaka lost 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 to Belinda Bencic, falling to the Swiss for the second time this season.

"I don't know what my plans are for next year but I enjoy playing here".

Thiem, a predominantly clay-court player who lost to Rafael Nadal in last year's French Open final, recovered from a slow start against Federer.

Federer spurned two match points and Thiem only clinched the set on his sixth set point as he won the breaker 13-11 to force a decider.

Federer will next face fifth-seeded Dominic Thiem, who defeated Fabio Fognini 6-4, 7-5. Federer broke back to pull level at 4-4 but the Austrian broke again in the next game, sealing it with a sensational forehand over his opponent before serving out the match.

"Losing with match points is the worst. I thought I had some good matches here", the 20-time Grand Slam champion said. "I was very nervous, so I just figured, 'come to the net, take a chance, ' and it worked out". "Regardless of how and what and when, there was no more tactics except to serve it to the forehand to mix it up and you go to the net as quick as possible so you are as close as possible and I framed the first volley, which ended up being flawless".

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