Nadal’s magical clay court streak ends

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 13 May 2018 08:49:23



After beating Rafa, Thiem beats Anderson for first time to reach Madrid final

RAFAEL Nadal suffered his first clay-court defeat in almost a year when the world number one was shocked 7-5, 6-3 by Austria’s Dominic Thiem in the Madrid Masters quarter-finals.
Defending champion Nadal, who came into the tournament having won both Monte Carlo and Barcelona for an 11th time, also saw his record 50-set winning streak on clay ended by the fifth-seeded Thiem.

Thiem, the runner-up to the great Spaniard in the 2017 Madrid final, had been the last player to defeat Nadal on clay at the 2017 Italian Open in Rome—357 days ago. The shock result also means that Roger Federer will reclaim the world number one ranking on Monday.
“A player like Dominic has a lot of potential. Whenever he plays really well, it’s very difficult to stop him,” admitted Nadal.

“He played well and I didn’t play well. We’re not playing a game where the differences are big or massive. The differences are very small.”
Five-time Madrid winner Nadal, who will be bidding for an 11th French Open title in Paris later this month, had won his previous 21 matches on clay.

Thiem beats Anderson for first time to reach Madrid final
Austrian Dominic Thiem beat Kevin Anderson for the first time at the seventh attempt to reach the Madrid Open final for the second successive year on Saturday.
The fifth seed won 6-4 6-2 as he continued the scintillating form that ended top seed Rafa Nadal’s year-long unbeaten run on clay the day before.

South African Anderson, seeded sixth, was playing in his first Masters 1000 semi-final but faded after a solid start.
While Thiem had a 0-6 record against Anderson, the pair had never met on the Austrian’s favoured clay surface, and the longer rallies suited his heavy baseline game.
Thiem needed a single break of serve in the opening set and broke twice in the second to wrap up victory.
He will play either Alexander Zverev or Canadian Denis Shapovalov in Sunday’s final. (Reuters)