Thiem Saves 2 MPs To Beat Federer, Will Face Djokovic In Madrid SF; Nadal to Meet Tstisipas
by Staff | May 10th, 2019, 10:37 pm

Yesterday, Roger Federer saved two match points in a thriller over Gael Monfils in Madrid. Today, Federer blew two of his own as Dominic Thiem won his fourth encounter with the Swiss in 3-6, 7-6(11), 6-4 quarterfinal victory.

“Losing with match points is the worst, so that’s how I feel. But nevertheless, if I take a step back, it’s all good,” Federer said.

“I had a great week. People couldn’t have been friendlier to me. I thought I played good. I have good memories from this place, so of course I can see myself coming back, but I don’t know at this point.”

Like he did against Monfils, Federer raced out to a quick lead thanks to an early break and with his serve humming, he rolled to one set advantage.

Thiem began to turn the tables in the second, finding the form off the ground and off his serve. In a crazy breaker, Federer held 2 match points at 8-7 and 9-8 while Thiem needed six set points to extend the match, and that he did.

With the momentum on his side, Thiem broke early in the third then after Federer break back, he broke again then served it out to clinch his fourth win in six tries against the Swiss, and second straight this year after Indian Wells.

Thiem is now responsible for Federer’s last two losses overall and his last two losses on clay.

Thiem will now face Novak Djokovic who didn’t have to take the court as Marin Cilic withdrew due to food poisoning.

“Marin is a top player and he’s a good friend of mine and he did text me saying he got some food poisoning,” said Djokovic. “So I really hope he’s going to recover for Rome. On my side, I tried to warm up and prepare for the match and then I went back on the court, trained for another hour and got a good sweat in. [I’m] happy that I’m going to be fresh for my semi-final match-up tomorrow.”

Djokovic leads the Austrian 5-2 but Thiem has won the last two both on clay at the 2017 French and 2018 Monte Carlo.

“The test today was huge and tomorrow is a different game, of course,” said Thiem. “But I was playing Novak last year, and two years ago, and he was not at his best, I guess. Now he is again. He’s won the last three Grand Slams and he is at the top of the ATP Ranking again. So the challenge couldn’t be bigger… I’ll try to keep up my good momentum which I have now and give my best again.”

With Belinda Bencic and Federer out, Swiss hopes rested on Stan Wawrinka. But any chance was quickly dashed as Rafael Nadal pounced early and never looked back in an impressive 6-1, 6-2 victory.

“It was a very positive match. I’m very happy with the way that I played and in general terms, it was a great performance,” Nadal said. “I’m happy, it was an important moment for me and I’m really happy to be through this way.”

Nadal, who has held all 30 service games this week, now faces the 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas who edged his peer Alexander Zverev 7-5, 3-6, 6-2.

“I’m really happy and satisfied with my performance. I think I deserved the match at the end,” the Greek said. “I was playing really well, feeling really comfortable on the court. When you feel like this, you can do miracles. So I’m really enjoying the process, really enjoying my stay here until now, and I really hope to do even better in the future.”

Zverev remains titleless on the year, but at least won consecutive matches this week for the first time since Acapulco.

“He’s playing very good. He’s obviously improved a lot. His serve is very, very good, I was surprised today. And the second shot, he hits it unbelievably aggressive so it was not easy. I actually thought I played really well the first two sets,” said Zverev. “If I played a little more aggressive in that third set on break points, maybe I go up a break and win the match as well. But everything happens for a reason.”

Nadal leads Tsitsipas 3-0 in their series.

“He’s playing well. He won last week in Estoril and he’s already won a lot of good matches this week. He comes to that semifinal with plenty of confidence. It’s going to be a tough one, I hope to be ready for it,” Nadal said of Tsitsipas. “I’ll need to play my best. Today was a good example. I need to continue tomorrow, that’s the goal.”

In this all-Top 10 Masters semifinal, Tstisipas is the lone player without a Masters crown.

Manolo Santana 1:30 Pm / WTA – Doubles Final
F 6 Gabriela Dabrowski/Yifan Xu v 5 Su-Wei Hsieh/Barbora Strycova
Not Before 4:00 Pm
SF 1 Novak Djokovic v 5 Dominic Thiem
Not Before 6:30 Pm / WTA – Singles Final
F 3 Simona Halep v 7 Kiki Bertens
Not Before 9:00 Pm
SF 8 Stefanos Tsitsipas v 2 Rafael Nadal

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Cilic Saves MP In Madrid, Americans Advance; Federer Makes Clay Debut Tues.
Dominic Thiem: I Now Feel Like I Belong In The Top 10
Zverev Rolls Past Shapovalov, Will Meet Thiem For Madrid Title
Dominic Thiem: The Monte Carlo Draw Is A Joke, It’s So Strong

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35 Comments for Thiem Saves 2 MPs To Beat Federer, Will Face Djokovic In Madrid SF; Nadal to Meet Tstisipas

Wog Boy Says:

So, 37 years old is playing Rome, looks like pretty tough draw.

Daniel Says:

Rome QF lineup
Thiem x Nadal
Fed x Tsisi
Zcerev x Kei
Djoko x Delpo

Nadal x Fed
Djoko x Zverev

Ronn Says:

This is like the 5th time since Wimbledon last year that Federer has “lost” when he had Djoko waiting for him in the next round. He’s clearly intimidated by Djoko and it’s getting ridiculous. The h2d would be 30-22 in Djoko’s favor by now if Roger stopped tanking matches so as to avoid losing to Djoko.

FedExpress Says:

Are you on drugs Ronn?

Van Persie Says:

Hajde Nole!
Think he wins today

Van Persie Says:

Nole needs to be strong from the baseline today

Van Persie Says:

breath taking points!

FedExpress Says:

Thiem’s mindless ball bashing sometimes

Van Persie Says:

Phew. Glad Nole hold his nerve

jatin Says:

Great battle so far. Novak has certainly meet his match on baseline.

Giles Says:

Come Rome, Thiem will be gassed!

fred stone Says:

Djoker is slow getting his serve off but where’s the time violations when the Spanish snail is playing?

Van Persie Says:

this set crucial for Nole.

FedExpress Says:

Novak the clay courter over Thiem the clay courter any time of the day.

Van Persie Says:

good but match far from over

Van Persie Says:

Nole is Zen today 😁

FedExpress Says:

Thiem. Prince of clay. My foot. Hasnt won anything significant on clay. Even Zverev accomplished more.

van orten Says:

No mistakes like that v Federer from thiem .. djokovic is a different animal when it is about tenacity!!!! Go nole show the next generations it is only over when it’s over .. go Rafa later in the evening too !!! People need to understand that fedalovic are the best players ever .. thiem ?? The favorite to win rg .. ??? The next gen will win a grand slam this year ??? I don’t think so !!!

van orten Says:

Bravo nole Bravo !!!!

Van Persie Says:

Wow. Nole did it



FedExpress Says:

Thiem useless af. Expected.

chrisford1 Says:

Fine effort by Thiem. Some insane defense by Djokovic and Thiem was also playing great. Djokovic has made progress in his goal to peak at the French Open. Odds are against him, but if he gets 4 majors in a row again, even if he doesn’t get another title this year, GOAT talk resumes. Winning 5 or 6 Slams in a row have odds so unlikely for Djokovic that I wouldn’t even speculate unless he somehow wins the FO.

As for the Prince of Clay soon one day to be King – I agree with that, Dom is going to be the best at some time down the road, but point out that there are 2 older princes worthy of being mentioned.

Prince Novak is the 2nd best clay tennis player of this era. And not too far behind, Prince Roger, who was once the 2nd best before Prince Novak superceded him. By a small gap. Much smaller than the gap between Nadal and those guys.

I feel caution is due. It is not just Novak-Nadal. Others have a shot on clay at the Italian and French Open, led by Thiem and Fabio Fognini who is as good on slow clay as Thiem. Federer, Zverev, Tsisipas – they have chances too!

j-kath Says:

VP, Wogboy: It was pretty tight at times but Novak had decided he was going to win and win he did.

Van Orten: “Go nole show the next generations it is only over when it’s over.” Yes. I agree. And am routing for Rafa to do the same.

All out Says:

Tsitsipas is playing wonderful tennis.. nadal probably tanking this match knowing he’s not yet ready to face nole.. but these are the kind of matches he needs.. I think it’s nole vs tsitsipas tomorrow

Daniel Says:

Wow, everytime Tsisipas saves 2 BPs he breaks Nadal next game. Nadal was 15-40 2-1 and now Tsisi 5-2 serving for the match.

Seems Nadal 2019 clay semis curse continues.

Madrid crown mute when Tsisi wins a point. They are in disbelief

Daniel Says:

Not so fast. Nadal gets 1 break back.

Serving under pressure now 3-5.

FedExpress Says:

Surely Tsitsipas is not gonna choke a double break advantage.

FedExpress Says:

Nadal. The best volleyer in the game. Showed it tonight.

3rd semis loss in a row on clay.

fred stone Says:

And the Fly swats the Bull.;)

Daniel Says:

Major win for Tsisi! How far he evolved aince Barcelona last year. New clay has arrived.

Now is time for betting: who will beat Nadal on Rome’semis? Lookong at the draw either Federer (Lol), Tsisi or Fongnini.

Id Nadal doesn’t win Rome it eill be the first time he enter RG without a clay title since 2005.

I don’t even know if since turning pro he had ever come this close to RG without a title. Because in 2003 and 2004 he won clay tourneus

skeezer Says:

Tstisipas played great, going through the @2&#3 seeds to get through the final. Dkoker? Walkover and a player whom looked tired from a master class duel against the best ever.
Rafa loses yet again against the real young young guys. Worst Clay season ever so far for the King?
Like this kid.alot. He has flair, doesn’t duel with the crowd,( keeps his mind on the court ), has a great athletic tennis body built for maneuverability, flexibility and speed. He just looks flat out built for tennis. Hope his career goes upward, he’s fun to watch.

FedExpress Says:

Tsi still wont beat Daniil ever in this lifetime.

czarlazar Says:

Tsitsipas was lucky Nadal gifted him the third set with all those uncharacteristic errors. Especially serving at 3-5, donating one gift after another to provide Tsitsipas multiple match points he didn’t deserve. The sitter volley at the net was the most egregious but just one of many. Had he held and forced the Greek to serve it out at 5-4, it would have been interesting and far from certain the youngster would hold his nerve. I’d say the likelihood of going all the way and beating Nole in the final is slim, much lower than the betting lines would indicate. Djokovic wants the title to even his Masters 1000 tally with Nadal’s 33, and also give him a tangible reward as he peaks toward Paris. With Nadal looking vulnerable this clay season, I’d say Nole is the favourite to win the French with Thiem close behind and Nadal behind Thiem. Tsitsipas may have a shot but three out of five on clay definitely separates the legends from the schoolboys.

Van Persie Says:

Tsitsipa’s win is a surprise for me. Did not see it comming. Did not see the match as I had otbe plans, but looks like I missed something.

Nole’s win put him back in the cards as possible winner of the French.
Today’s final should be very interresting, and I have been proven wrong, that the toung generation has no word to say.

Daniel Says:

Djoko winning today and tying Nadal with 33 Masters, theonly record Nadal is above him is #of Slams 17-15. After that only Federer.

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