Top
Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
keyboard_arrow_down
Login
exit_to_app
Farmer rage and Opposition parties
access_time 19 Sep 2020 6:51 AM GMT
access_time 19 Sep 2020 3:50 AM GMT
Going beyond birthday celebration
access_time 18 Sep 2020 6:05 AM GMT
Periyar@142-Revolutionary and Visionary
access_time 17 Sep 2020 11:57 AM GMT
The word of caution from the highest court
access_time 17 Sep 2020 6:31 AM GMT
access_time 16 Sep 2020 5:58 AM GMT
DEEP READAll arrow_drop_down
The ogres in the mind
access_time 8 Sep 2020 11:27 AM GMT
Why worry about populism?
access_time 4 Sep 2020 9:51 AM GMT
Media mind-set towards minorities
access_time 15 July 2020 4:29 PM GMT
exit_to_app
Homechevron_rightSportschevron_rightThiem ends Federers...

Thiem ends Federer's clay court return as Djokovic, Nadal edge closer to final

text_fields
bookmark_border
Thiem ends Federers clay court return as Djokovic, Nadal edge closer to final
cancel

Madrid: Dominic Thiem saved two match points and ended the first chapter of Roger Federer's return to clay court tennis with a come-from-behind 3-6, 7-6 (13/11), 6-4 win and reach the Madrid Open semi-finals.

 The 37-year-old Swiss had returned this week to the surface for the first time in three years -- his last clay court match was a loss to Thiem in Rome in 2016.

 While Federer was heading out, there were no such problems for top seed Novak Djokovic who made the last-four when Marin Cilic withdrew and Rafael Nadal, the second seed, who brushed aside Stan Wawrinka 6-1, 6-2 on Friday.

 Thiem, the 2018 Roland Garros runner-up and winner of the Barcelona title last month, prevailed in two hours 10 minutes against Federer having saved two match points in a 15-minute second set tie-break.

He will on Saturday face world number one Djokovic, who advanced on a walkover when Cilic pulled out with a stomach virus.

Five-time champion Nadal needed just over an hour to reach his 11th Madrid semi-final and will face Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, a winner over defending champion Alexander Zverev by 7-5, 3-6, 6-2.

"It was a good match for me, Stan is not an easy opponent regardless of the scoreline," said Nadal after his 14th quarter-final in the last 15 years in the Spanish capital.

 "I had to play good tennis and reach my best level." Federer said he was happy to have made his clay court comeback.

"I feel very good about my game. I thought I had some good matches here," the 20-time Grand Slam champion said. "I feel good on the clay right now."        Federer now has the option to take up a wild card being held for him next week in Rome. Otherwise, his next clay event will be the French Open where he last  played in 2015.

"The match was so close," said Austrian fifth seed Thiem who had also defeated Federer in the Indian Wells final in March.

 "I was really lucky to save the  match points.

 "Roger was playing unbelievable on the clay. I'm very, very happy to win. He is so special, maybe the best ever in tennis, he has something different.

 "Every time you play him, every point is a big challenge."              In the final set, Thiem earned a break for 2-1 as Federer netted a backhand but the Swiss rallied to break back, 4-4.

 The momentum fizzled out though and a game later Thiem broke again for 5-4 with a lob winner.

 'Nice feeling'

The Austrian served out his fourth victory in six matches against Federer a game later.

 Meanwhile, Simona Halep closed in on a return to the top of the world rankings after beating Belinda Bencic 6-2, 6-7 (2/7), 6-0 to advance to the women's final.

Halep, currently number three in the world, will reclaim the number one ranking should she win her third title at the Caja Magica.

Bencic had defeated Halep in their last two matches, but the reigning French Open champion, who lifted the trophy in Madrid in 2016 and 2017, came through  in just under two hours.

Halep will play Dutch seventh seed Kiki Bertens, a finalist in Madrid last year, who defeated 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens 6-2, 7-5.

"It's such a nice feeling to be back in the final here. I really enjoy playing in Madrid, it motivates me," Halep said.

Show Full Article
TAGS:
Next Story