Dominic Thiem and Fabio Fognini dumped out in Hamburg, but Alexander Zverev survives

Dominic Thiem

Top seed Dominic Thiem as well as Fabio Fognini crashed out of the Hamburg European Open on Friday, but Alexander Zverev managed to stay alive.

Austrian Thiem had been in solid form in his opening two matches, but he came unstuck in two tie-breakers against Andrey Rublev, going down 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-5) to the world No 78 on the clay.

For Rublev it was the biggest win of his career as he rates two-time Roland Garros runner-up Thiem as the second best player on the red dirt.

“In my opinion, he is the best player on clay after Rafa (Nadal),” the Russian told ATP Tour.

“So, of course to have a match like this is something special and for sure I hope that it will give me the confidence and I will keep working and keep improving.”

He will face Pablo Carreno Busta for a place in the final after the Spaniard dumped out third seed Fognini.

Italian Fognini, who had complained about tiredness after his second-round clash, won the opening set before Carreno Busta stormed back to win 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4).

Second seed Zverev also looked set for a quarter-final exit as he lost the first set against Filip Krajinovic, but he finally settled to secure a 2-6, 7-5, 6-2 win in two hours and minutes.

“The crowd helped me. The crowd gave me energy. The crowd got me through that one,” Zverev said.

He will face Nikoloz Basilashvili in the semi-final after the defending champion beat Jeremy Chardy 6-2, 7-5.

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