Tennis: Thiem falls to Italian qualifier Mager in Rio quarter-finals

By Reuters: Sunday, February 23rd 2020 at 23:52 GMT +3 | Tennis
January 29, 2020. Austria's Dominic Thiem celebrates after winning his quarter final match against Spain's Rafael Nadal. REUTERS

Top seed Dominic Thiem missed a chance to pass Roger Federer and become the world's third-ranked player when he was knocked out of the Rio Open by Italian qualifier Gianluca Mager in a rain delayed quarter-final match on Saturday.

Mager, 25, completed the victory 7-6(4) 7-5 after leading 2-1 in the second set when play was halted on Friday.

"It’s unbelievable,” the Italian said. “For me, it was a dream only to play with him. Now that I beat him, it is a dream. He is a great, unbelievable player… I am very emotional.”

The tournament was Thiem's first since reaching the Australian Open final last month.

Mager held his opening three service games to serve for the match at 5-4. But after dropping serve to Austrian Thiem, he landed back-to-back winners and on his first match point fired an ace out wide to complete the win.

Both semi-finals were suspended because of rain on Saturday and will be completed on Sunday.

Get the latest sports news updates. Subscribe to our SMS sports service by texting 'SPORTS' to 22840.

Mager led Hungary's Attila Balazs 7-6(4) 3-3 and Cristian Garin of Chile was in front of Croatia's Borna Coric 6-4 4-4.

For More of This and Other Sports Stories Subscribe to the Standard Epaper