Federer v Thiem in Madrid: Match preview, statistics & prediction

The fifth-seeded Austrian, who saved two match points, will face Novak Djokovic on Saturday after the world number one's opponent Marin Cilic withdrew with food poisoning.

The Frenchman had then battled back to force a thrilling tie-break finale in the third set, and Thiem upped his game significantly too, taking the second set to the wire. "I think that's the beauty of the scoring system that if you win the first set, everything's back to scratch in the second set".

"I have a good record against him but I have also lost some big matches against him", he said.

The momentum fizzled out though and a game later Thiem broke again for 5-4 with a lob victor.

Meanwhile, Simona Halep closed in on a return to the top of the world rankings after beating Belinda Bencic 6-2, 6-7 (2/7), 6-0 to advance to the women's final.

"I don't want to think about that".

Meanwhile, Zverev was facing an early exit against emerging Polish talent Hubert Hurkacz, who won the first set and claimed four break points before being edged out 3-6 6-4 6-4.

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.

Halep, now number three in the world, will reclaim the number one ranking should she win her third title at the Caja Magica. Over there, he earned two match points but was unsuccessful in converting them. "As I said yesterday, he already won against Basilashvili and Kohlschreiber, so he came to this match with good confidence and winning against two great players on clay". "I went back on the court, trained for another hour and got a good sweat in. Happy that I'm going to be fresh for my semifinal".

It will be the second final of the season for the top-ranked Djokovic, who began the year by winning the Australian Open.

"Today was so close, I was really lucky.", said Thiem.

Rafa has eased to three wins from three, without dropping a set, in their previous three meetings, but again, these head to head clashes lack context to the current match-up.