Austria's Dominic Thiem celebrates after defeating Spain's Rafael Nadal at the ATP Tennis Open tournament on May 19, 2017 at the Foro Italico in Rome. / AFP PHOTO / TIZIANA FABI (Photo credit should read TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)

Thiem Snaps Nadal's 17-Match Winning Streak

ROME, Italy -- Domic Thiem snapped a three-match losing streak against Nadal on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia with a convincing 6-4, 6-3.

Thiem, who lost to Nadal in the finals of Barcelona Open and Madrid Open, stopped the Spaniard's 17-match winning streak, which saw Nadal win his 10th Monte Carlo, 10th Barcelona Open, and his fifth Madrid Open.

The No. 8 seed awaits the winner of Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro.

In other matches, Next Gen star Alexander Zverev advanced to his first Masters 1000 semifinal after he upset No. 5 seed Milos Raonic in the quarterfinals with a 7-6(4), 6-1 win on Friday.

The 20-year-old will next face John Isner, who defeated Marin Cilic in a tight three-setter 7-6(3), 2-6, 7-6(2).

"I'm happy to be in semis and playing John tomorrow, who I know very well, you know, from our Saddlebrook days," said the rising star. "We practice quite a lot together in the offseason and do quite a lot of stuff together.

"It's going to be a great match. I'm excited for both of us," said Zverev.

Isner and Zverev go way back as they both train at Saddlebrook in Florida.

"Well, I was practicing with him when he was 14, 15. I'm, like, God, this kid is good," Isner reflected. He's also making some tight calls in practice. (Laughter.) Don't tell him I said that.

"No, I mean, I'm, like, Goddang, this kid is going pro? I would ask my coach. Yeah, he's going pro. He's unbelievable and hits the ball so well. He emerged really two years ago, but last year he made a huge jump, and now he's even jumped further.

"What is he, 20? Just turned 20, like, couple weeks ago. His future is very bright, that's for sure," said Isner.

Meanwhile, Simona Halep continued her good run on clay as she booked a spot in the semifinals with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over qualifier Anett Kontaveit on Friday.

Halep, who successfully defended her Madrid Open title, is shaping up to be the one to beat in Roland Garros.

"I'm really proud that I could continue winning and playing at my highest level after a title, so that is not easy," said Halep in her post-match conference.

"I feel good. I feel happy with my way that I play, and I feel happy also with my attitude," said the No. 4 seed.

Awaiting for Halep is Kiki Bertens, who took out Daria Gavrilova 6-3, 6-3.

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