Roger Federer was not at his absolute best as he went on to suffer a 6-7(2-7), 4-6 defeat against Dominic Thiem (above) © Getty Images
Roger Federer was not at his absolute best as he went on to suffer a 6-7(2-7), 4-6 defeat against Dominic Thiem (above) © Getty Images

Rome: Swiss tennis maestro Roger Federer was knocked out of the Rome Masters after suffering a straight-sets defeat at the hands of Austria’s Dominic Thiem in the third round on Thursday. Federer, who is hindered by a back injury, was not at his absolute best as he went on to suffer a 6-7(2-7), 4-6 defeat against 13th seed Austrian in the thrilling contest that lasted for one hour and 18 minutes. After missing nearly three months of the season due to a knee injury, Federer had earlier marked his return with a 6-3, 7-5 win over German teenager Alexander Zverev in the second round of the tournament.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion was due to make a return in last week’s Madrid Masters but withdrew from the tournament with a back pain. Meanwhile, second-seed Andy Murray and world number one Novak Djokovic will aim for the quarter-final berth when they will take on their respective opponents later on Thursday.