Thiem Extends Winning Streak, Faces Federer Next
The two-time defending finalist won 80 per cent of his service points and broke Fognini twice to hold off the 31-year-old Italian, who, at No. 12, is on the doorsteps of cracking the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings for the first time.
Thiem won his biggest clay-court title last month at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, beating Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals and Russian Daniil Medvedev in the final to take the ATP 500 title. In March, Thiem won his first ATP Masters 1000 championship at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells with victory over Roger Federer in the final.
The fifth-seeded Austrian will face a rematch with Federer on Friday. Thiem leads his FedEx ATP Head2Head series against the Swiss 3-2, including a victory the last time they played on clay, 12 May 2016 at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome. Before Federer returned to the surface this week in Madrid, his loss to Thiem had been his most recent clay-court match.