Nadal defeats Thiem to claim fifth Madrid Masters crown
19 May, 2017, 15:33 | Author: Alberta Rodriguez
The anointed "King of clay" improved to 15-0 on the dirt this year after Sunday claiming the Mutua Madrid Open title, defeating Dominic Thiem 7-6 (8), 6-4 in the championship.
By capturing his 5th Madrid Masters title, Nadal took his tally of career clay-court tournaments to 52, leading the Argentine legend Guillermo Vilas.
The fourth-seeded Nadal posted a 7-6 (8), 6-4 victory over the eighth-seeded Thiem to win his third straight ATP Tour event.
Talking about the match he said: "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". "I am always very nervous and emotional to play a final in Madrid".
His backhand shone in the first-set tie-break and, after wasting four set points, the 14-time grand slam champion moved ahead when Thiem blazed a forehand long.
Playing his first-ever Masters 1000 final, the Austrian never looked fazed by the occasion and despite being broken in the first game of the second set, continued to fight till the end. Thiem again responded with a fierce battle with Nadal serving for the match but Nadal finally put him away with a forehead victor to end the 2-hour, 18-minute match.
Of course the conversation inevitably moved to the fact that with this win, Nadal has leapfrogged Roger Federer in the rankings, not that he gave much store in the rankings to determine who would lift the title at the French Open.
Thiem was trying to win his ninth title, and the first since winning the Rio de Janeiro tournament in the beginning of the year. "I don't think it changes a lot for me".
The Austrian held, and saved two more set points in the first-set tiebreaker.
"I got a break in the first game", Thiem said, as quoted on TennisWorldUSA. I really enjoy these tournaments. The clear favorite for Roland Garros and having accomplished all of his immediate goals, the question now becomes if Nadal, at nearly 31, even plays Rome or elects to rest. "Let's respect his level right now because it's true that perhaps it's not as high as it used to be, but I'm telling you, it's been a lot of years, and I know because I've been in his skin, being up there every single week, being No. 1 every single week, it's nearly impossible". I was much, much better and much closer than in Barcelona. This marked his 30th Masters 1000 title in Madrid and proved to the doubters that his career is not over. "I hope to do the same in Rome (in this week's Italian Open)".
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