2016 Brisbane International: Federer versus Thiem SF preview

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Roger Federer
Defending champion Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates his win against Tobias Kamke of Germany during their match at the Brisbane International Tennis Tournament in Brisbane, Australia, January 7, 2016. REUTERS/Dave Hunt/AAP

Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem battled into the last four in Brisbane. The duo will go head-to-head for the first time in their careers for a place in the finals.

Federer improved his head-to-head record to 4-0 against Grigor Dimitrov in a tight three-set quarterfinal match, 6-4 6-7(4) 6-4 on Pat Rafter Arena on Friday, a repeat of last year’s Brisbane semifinals.

It was the first time that Federer was pushed to play three sets against the Haskovo native. Federer successfully fend off Dimitrov in straight-set matches in their previous three encounters which took place at Federer’s home turf in Basel in 2012 and 2013 and this time last year in Brisbane.

Federer will play rising Austrian tennis star Thiem in his bid to defend his Brisbane title. It will be the first meeting for both players on tour. Down with one set, the 22-year-old upset former US Open champion Marin Cilic 2-6 7-6(4) 6-4 to book a place in the last four.

Thiem won three titles in 2015 making him the youngest player to finish within the top 20 of the world rankings. The World No. 20 compiled a 36-38 record last season and won titles at ATP World Tour 250 events in Swiss Open Gstaad (def. David Goffin, 7-5 6-2), Konzum Croatia Open Umag (def. Joao Sousa, 6-4 6-1), and Open de Nice Cote d’Azur (def. Leonardo Mayer, 6-7(8) 7-5 7-6(2).

Federer and Thiem will do battle for a spot in the finals on Pat Rafter Arena on Saturday not before 2 p.m. local time.

On the other side of the draw, seventh seed Australian will attempt to knock out 2015 finalist and fourth seed Canadian Milos Raonic. It will mark the second time that Tomic and Raonic have clashed on tour.

Raonic leads 1-0 in their head-to-head record. Tomic and Raonic are scheduled to play on Pat Rafter Arena not before 12:30 pm local time.

Visit Brisbaneinternational.com.au or ATPWorldTour.com for more information.