Nadal defeats Thiem to claim fifth Madrid Masters crown

Paola Ditto
Mag 19, 2017

It was clear from the pair's respective entrances that Thiem would be fighting the Madrid crowd as well as Nadal on Sunday, with the Magic Box bellowing for the latter while his Austrian foe hardly produced a cheer.

The win is not only Nadal's third title of 2017 but also his 30th Masters 1000 title, the joint-most along with Novak Djokovic, and extends his clay-court season record to 15-0.

Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal in Madrid was the victor of a major clay tournament of series ATP-1000.

Nadal was brutal coming in to the second set, breaking straight away, and denying Thiem a chance to try and break back immediately, from that point on no quarter was given until Nadal pushed and pressed fir a break to finish with Thiem saving two match points in the process.

Nadal broke back to win the sixth game and earned three set points at 5-4 but world number nine Thiem saved each one to eventually hold and force the tie-break.

In the tie-break, Thiem continued to challenge the "King of Clay", erasing set points four and five before Nadal claimed one of the best sets of the year when Thiem sailed a forehand long. "After that I went for it".

Thiem was trying to win his ninth title, and the first since winning the Rio de Janeiro tournament in the beginning of the year.

“It was a good fight out there.

"I think it was a tough match since the beginning, especially here in altitude, which is hard to make breaks against a player like Thiem". Nadal is by far the best clay court player of all time, and he's dominated the surface in a way that no other player has dominated any other surface.

Passes the idle Roger Federer in the rankings, guaranteeing a top-4 seed at the French Open regardless of what happens in Rome. Things are going very well and I'm very happy, "Nadal was quoted as saying by the tournament's website". Then he will try to win his 10th title at Roland Garros, where he captured his last Grand Slam title three years ago.

He defeated Djokovic in the semi-finals in Madrid, snapping a seven-match winless streak against the second-ranked Serb.

The 30-year-old Nadal won his fifth Mutua Madrid Open title and his record-tying 30th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown, matching World No. 2 Novak Djokovic for the all-time lead.

"This is a very emotional period of the season". But in December or January, I was not expecting to play badly, because I knew I was doing a very good off-season. "I really enjoy these tournaments", Nadal said. "I hope to do the same in Rome (in this week's Italian Open)".

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