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Federer falls in Rome

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 12-05-2016 skysports.com

Getty © Provided by BSkyB Getty Getty © Provided by BSkyB Getty

Roger Federer's preparations for the French Open suffered another setback after a straight-sets defeat against Dominic Thiem at the Rome Masters. 

The Swiss star has freely admitted he is short of fitness after knee surgery and slumped to a 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 defeat against Thiem in the third round of the clay-court tournament.

There had been concerns that Federer would not even appear on court after suggesting he was "far from 100 per cent" fit in the post-match interview following his win over Alexander Zverev.

But the 34-year-old decided to test his fragile body and displayed grit on the red dirt, breaking back to level the opening set.

Thiem, with one clay title to his name already this year, continued to play confidently behind a strong first serve and wrestled back control in the resulting tie-break.

The 22-year-old Austrian resumed his assault on Federer's serve in the second set and broke again for an early lead.

A forlorn Federer could not conjure up a break of his own and Thiem would seal victory with a thumping ace.

Federer has just a few more weeks to prepare for the Grand Slam event in Paris, while Thiem turns his attention to a match against either sixth seed Kei Nishikori or Frenchman Richard Gasquet.

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