Rome - Swiss third seed Roger Federer's Rome Masters bid ended at the third
round with a 7-6 (7/2), 6-4 defeat to Austrian 13th seed Dominic Thiem
Federer, who withdrew last week from Madrid with back pain, admitted
on Wednesday he had been surprised to get past second round opponent
Alexander Zverev in straight sets.
Rome marks only the fourth tournament of the season for Federer, who
underwent knee surgery in early February, the first operation of his
The 17-time Grand Slam champion only decided to face Thiem at the
last minute on Central Court, and the Austrian capitalised to finish off
an obviously ailing Federer in 1 hour and 18 minutes.
In the quarter-finals, Thiem will now play either French 11th seed
Richard Gasquet or Japan's sixth seed Kei Nishikori, who face off in a
third round clash later on Thursday.
It could be the beginning of a Rome Masters fairytale for the
22-year-old Austrian, who is approaching 30 wins for the season having
secured two titles already and suffered defeat to Germany's Philipp
Kohlschreiber in the final at Munich nearly a fortnight ago.
Later, defending champion Novak Djokovic faces Brazilian Thomaz
Bellucci while seven-time winner Rafael Nadal plays Australian Nick