Nadal crushes Djokovic to reach Madrid tennis final

Rosalie Stanley
May 17, 2017

Rafael Nadal is being quoted at even money to win a 10th French Open after he bundled his old rival Novak Djokovic out of the Madrid Masters in straight sets.

It feels ironic that the only times that Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem have ever met is on clay, with only one win for the young Austrian in Buenos Aires past year.

After Thiem rifled a few winners to save 0-40 at 4-5 (the same game in which his chances spiraled two weeks back in their Barcelona final), a brilliant tiebreaker saw both players saving set points, with Nadal's consistency eventually winning out when Thiem misfired twice to lose a 10-8 thriller.

The 14-times grand-slam victor broke in the opening game of the second set and saved a break point in the next, maintaining a two-game advantage until a thrilling 10th game. Nadal broke early in the second set but
was not able to pull away, and needed to save four break points in the final game before closing out the match.

Regarding today's game, he was realistic, saying that Nadal didn't allow him to play better, although he had many unforced errors. “It means a lot to me to win at home, its always a special place for me.”.

His fourth win over Thiem in five meetings was confirmed after two hours and 17 minutes as his forehand began to fire in scenes reminiscent of his glory days of years gone by. "I will try to improve the things I didn't do that good in Barcelona and then we will see what happens". These tournaments are so strong, so it's awesome for me to go that far.

"This drop in level for Djokovic has to do with his fight to be No. 1 and to win as many matches as possible", Nadal said.

"I'm just going to go along, and in the next three, four weeks maximum, I'll make my decisions around that, about the team", Djokovic said.

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"It was time for me to win, it has been a long time before I even won a set against Djokovic".

Rafael Nadal masters Madrid. They are very important tournaments for me.

Nadal has now won at least one ATP title every year since 2004.

Novak Djokovic moved into the semi-finals of the Madrid Masters on Friday without hitting a ball as Kei Nishikori withdrew citing the recurrence of a wrist injury, tournament organisers said.

Nadal had easily beaten Thiem 6-4 6-1 in Barcelona but got an early scare when he was broken in Sunday's third game, soon falling 3-1 behind as the Austrian held.

Djokovic and Nadal had also been on course to play the semi-final in Monte Carlo before Goffin took the Serb out in the quarter-final. The champions have claimed 60 of the past 65 Masters 1000 crowns, dating back to 2010 Monte-Carlo.

"I gave everything that I could", Thiem said. "Hopefully I'll have another good result in Rome".

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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