Roger Federer still pondering Rome entry after Madrid exit

Paul Annacone 'Roger Federer was second-best clay-courter behind Rafa'

Paul Annacone 'Roger Federer was second-best clay-courter behind Rafa'

These are good news for him and his numerous fans as Roland Garros is just two weeks away and Rafa will try to win his 12th title in Paris this year.

Thiem beat Djokovic at Monte Carlo last year and at the 2017 French Open but knows he will be facing a very different animal this year, with the world number one having claimed titles at Wimbledon, the US Open and Australian Open since their last meeting.

Fifth-seeded Dominic Thiem saved two match points en route to stunning fourth-seeded Roger Federer 3-6, 7-6 (11), 6-4 on Friday to reach the semifinals of the Mutua Madrid Open.

The match was essentially decided in the "breaker", in which Federer raced out to a 3-0 lead before Thiem battled back to gain a first set point with Federer serving down 4-6.

Thiem broke early in the decider, but Federer responded in typical fashion to make it 4-4.

"I'm really happy and satisfied with my performance", Tsitsipas said afterward. His serve is very, very good, I was surprised today.

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

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. "At the end I played a great tiebreaker so I'm very relieved and I'm very happy right now".

A lucky volley, followed by a smash victor, kept Federer in the match.

"I'm not sure if I've lost a match before after winning the first set 6-0".

"Roger was playing unbelievable on the clay".

Madrid has probably made the mood more, Federer in Rome - back on the Sand.

"It was supposed to be definitely a good match", said Djokovic, who has played only four sets this week. I actually think Hurkacz has the potential to compete at a much higher level than his current ranking. "So the challenge couldn't be bigger". "For me, it is more important to win the trophy here than being No. 1", the third-ranked Halep said.

American Sloane Stephens got past Petra Martic in two sets and will face Kiki Bertens, who upset defending champion Petra Kvitova 6-2, 6-3 in a rematch of last year's final.

One thing going his way is that Tsitsipas has a 9/2 record on clay in 2019 so far which is the same record as Nadal.