February 23, 2020 / 5:12 AM / in 3 months

Thiem falls to Italian qualifier Mager in Rio quarter-finals

Tennis - ATP 500 - Rio Open - Jockey Club Brasileiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - February 22, 2020 Austria's Dominic Thiem in action during his match against Italy's Gianluca Mager REUTERS/Sergio Moraes

(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.

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.

Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Kim Coghill

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