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Madrid Open: Rafael Nadal ousts Novak Djokovic

17 May, 2017, 01:48 | Author: Glenda Knight

Dominic Thiem lost to Rafael Nadal for the second time in a row after the Barcelona final, also this time in straight sets, but the match was more balanced in Madrid.

He had landed a first win over Novak Djokovic for three years on Saturday and has now equalled Djokovic's record of 30 Masters Series titles.

Little by little Thiem worked his way back into the breaker, having and saving two set points in succession, but it was Nadal who would edge the first set tie-break.

The pair served up a sizzling second set, especially in the seventh game when Nadal finally broke the Belgian for a second time in the set at the fourth attempt after sensational rallies which had spectators in the Caja Magica rising to their feet in appreciation. I had some chances in the last game. While Nadal's win over Djokovic would firmly put him in the driving seat for Roland Garros, leaving the World Number 2 with a lot of hard work in Rome in the coming week.

The Serb successfully defended two match points in the final match and even had a match-point before Nadal claimed the match and ended a run of seven successive defeats to Djokovic to set up his eighth final in Madrid.

However finally Djokovic found a groove with his serve, held to love, and then swung a couple of fine backhand down-the-line shots and a return-of-serve victor for deuce against Nadal.

"I tried my best".

"I just play every single tournament without thinking a lot of things".

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"The truth is I was up against an opponent who, in the next five to 10 years, will be fighting for the most important titles, so I'm very happy to have won", Nadal said to Television Espanola.

"The level was definitely very high today I thought from both players", Djokovic said. "It's logical that after a hard week, I've been playing a lot of matches, a lot of hours out there on the court, I feel like it's sore, a little bit exhausted".

But Halep, who is also into the semi-finals of the women's doubles with compatriot Irina-Camelia Begu, showed no signs of lacking in energy as she bounced back in emphatic fashion to win the last six games for the loss of just 14 points. They are very important tournaments for me.

Given his past record in Rome - Nadal won seven titles from 2005 to 2013 - the 30-year-old Spaniard can look forward to a rousing reception from the notoriously noisy Rome crowd.

Djokovic hasn't reached a final since winning his first tournament of the year in Doha in January.

Dominic Thiem of Austria serves in the final of the Madrid Open tennis tournament against Spain's Rafael Nadal in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, May 14, 2017. I played well also.

"I gave everything that I could", Thiem said.

"I am humble enough to come here and say that I was nervous", said Nadal. "I hope to do the same in Rome (in this week's Italian Open)".

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