The Swiss Roger Federer, number three in the world, survived the strength of the Croatian Borna Coric, who wasted two match balls in a titanic tie break and, after advancing his second clash of the day in Rome, sealed his pass to the quarterfinals, those who await the winner of the Tsitsipas-Fognini.
Although he started by giving the first set to an opponent that broke his first two services and went 4-0 up in twenty minutes, the Basel-which in the morning had eliminated the Portuguese Joao Sousa on his return to the Foro Italico after two years of absence- was able to take the next two.
On the way out, Coric, 22 years old and fifteenth in the ATP ranking, was more solid on the clay of Rome and captured his superiority in the game by taking the first set for a comfortable 6-2 after 45 minutes of play.
The Zagreb prevented the four-time finalist of the Italian tournament feeling comfortable and forced him to play at the back of the court. However, in the second race the fight was equaled and both rivals were moving forward their respective services.
With 3-2 in his favor, the Basel tennis player put a further march and, after taking advantage of his second 'break' ball, took his first advantage of the afternoon.
Coric tried to return the blow in the following game, in which he had two balls to return to equalize the shock, although the veteran of number three in the world allowed him to go ahead and leave the set on track with a comfortable 5-2 in favor.
Two consecutive games of the Croatian arrived, whose reaction was insufficient because the Swiss took his first opportunity to force the third set after 47 minutes of intense fight.
The equality stayed in the definitive sleeve, in which the fight of both to take control of the party prevented surprises until the 4-4.
In the ninth game, Coric managed to put Federer on the ropes. He went 0-30 and came to have a 'break' ball at the most opportune moment, although he could not take advantage of it, which prolonged the uncertainty in the Foro Italico.
The game went to a 'tie-break' in which the number fifteen in the world took the initiative and came to put 5-2. When, with two match balls, it seemed that everything was decided, came the reaction of Federer, who chained three points in a row and was able to seal the victory on his second chance after two and a half hours of fighting. .