Djokovic back to best against Thiem to reach Madrid final

No one can be compared to Roger Federer says Richard Gasquet

This mouthwatering encounter will tell us an terrible lot about both players form going into the French Open.

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

"I felt my chances were bigger at the net than from the baseline, so it was a desperation, panic move", Federer said. "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".

Tsitsipas eliminated Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4 to win his sixth straight match. "Thank you for the support", the Croatian said on Twitter. "He really got into a great groove after that, he had great intensity. At the end I played a great tiebreaker so I'm very relieved and I'm very happy right now".

In the women's competition, French Open champion Simona Halep is through to the final after fending off a tough challenge from Belinda Bencic.

Thiem has won the last two matches he played against Djokovic, who got the day off because of Cilic's withdrawal.

The fourth-seeded Federer had eased past Richard Gasquet in his first match in Madrid and looked set for another comfortable win after routing Monfils in less than 20 minutes in the opening set.

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Federer won the first set in a blink but Monfils found his form, grabbing an early break and hanging on to force the decider. Over there, he earned two match points but was unsuccessful in converting them.

Roger Federer was forced to fight hard for what could have otherwise been a routine win against Gael Monfils in the Madrid Open third round. The fifth-ranked Austrian is coming off titles in Barcelona and Indian Wells. He was runner-up in Madrid the last two years.

The top-seeded Serb is seeking a third Madrid Open title, and his second of the season after winning the Australian Open. The Madrid Open is his first clay tournament as he prepares to return to the French Open after a three-year absence.

Federer bageled Monfils 6-0 in the first set, lost his momentum in the second, and looked like he was down and nearly out in the third. "He's one of the best players in the world", Nadal said.

And he could meet the Spaniard in the final, if he can battle past Djokovic this afternoon. "But he was playing well here".

Novak Djokovic continued to play well winning his 13th straight over Jeremy Chardy with a 6-1, 7-6 (2) decision. Zverev overcame a slow start to rally past Pol Hubert Hurkacz 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.

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