Madrid Open: Dominic Thiem beats Roger Federer to set up Novak Djokovic meeting

Dominic Thiem and Roger Federer
Dominic Thiem beat Roger Federer in the Indian Wells final in March

Dominic Thiem saved match points to end Roger Federer's clay-court return and reach the Madrid Open semi-finals.

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.

Austria's Thiem eventually came through 3-6 7-6 (13-11) 6-4 to set up a meeting with world number one Novak Djokovic.

Second seed Rafael Nadal cruised into the semi-finals with a 6-1 6-2 win over Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka.

Spaniard Nadal, a five-time champion in Madrid, needed just 69 minutes to beat Wawrinka.

He will face ninth seed and rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas next after the Greek beat defending champion Alexander Zverev 7-5 3-6 6-2.

Germany's Zverev, seeded third in Madrid, will fall to fifth in the rankings on Monday.

Fifth seed Thiem previously beat 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer in the Indian Wells final in March.

Fourth seed Federer, 37, was playing in his first clay-court tournament for three years.

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.

He created five break points on the Federer serve in the second set, but the Swiss held to force an eventual tie-break.

Federer had match point at 8-7 and 10-9 in the tie-break but Thiem saved them both and won four of the final five points to ensure a deciding set.

Thiem broke Federer early and went on to serve out the match at the second attempt.

He will play Djokovic on Saturday after the Serb received a walkover to the semi-finals.

Djokovic had been set to face Marin Cilic but the Croat pulled out after suffering with food poisoning.

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