saved match points to end ’s clay-court return and reach the Madrid Open semi-finals.

Ss Federer saved match points in his quarter-final on Thursday but squandered two of his own in the second-set tie-break against Thiem.

Austria’s Thiem eventually came through 3-6 7-6 (13-11) 6-4 to set up a meeting with world number one .

Fifth seed Thiem previously beat 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer in the Indian Wells final in March.

Fourth seed Federer, 37, was playing in his first clay-court tournament for three years.

Thiem, a predominantly clay-court player who lost to in last year’s French Open final, recovered from a slow start against Federer.

He created five break points on the Federer serve in the second set, but the Ss held to force an eventual tie-break.

Federer had match point at 8-7 and 10-9 in the tie-break but Thiem saved them both and won four of the final five points to ensure a deciding set.

Thiem broke Federer early and went on to serve out the match at the second attempt.

He will play Djokovic on Saturday after the Serb received a walkover to the semi-finals.

Djokovic had been set to face but the Croat pulled out after suffering with food poisoning.