Thiem storms into Madrid final

Thiem storms into Madrid final

Thiem was perhaps at his best as he ended Rafael Nadal's reign on clay with a 7-5 6-3 win to in their quarter-final encounter on Friday, handing over the Spaniard his first loss on clay in 21 matches.

That run included him surpassing John McEnroe's 1984 record of 49 sets won in succession on the same surface during his last-16 duel with Diego Schwartzman on Thursday.

Federer will therefore move back to the top of the rankings, despite taking the clay-court season off, but of more effect is a performance from Thiem that suggests Nadal may have a genuine rival at the French Open.

"I had to really increase my level compared to Monte Carlo to beat Rafa here", Thiem said.

Rafael Nadal (Spain) has dropped to World No. 2 after losing to Dominic Thiem (Austria) in the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open tennis tournament. Thiem did the impossible by snapping Nadal's insane clay streak, as he won 48 percent of his return points and gave himself 12 break chances. In the victory, Anderson won 68 percent of his first serve points and 66 percent of his second serve points. I still have two good weeks on clay, and then I'll keep on moving forward.

The first thing I noticed when looking at this match-up is the absurd head to head lead that Anderson enjoys over his Austrian rival, with the big-server winning all seven meetings.

Thiem needed a single break of serve in the opening set and broke twice in the second to wrap up victory.


Nadal said that he "didn't read the ball good enough" and struggled with Thiem's heavy topspin shots in the high-altitude conditions in Madrid, compared with seaside Monte Carlo and Barcelona, his most recent tournament wins.

And having beaten Nadal en route to the final, Sky Sports' tennis expert Greg Rusedski believes Thiem will be the Spaniard's greatest challenger to French Open glory when the Grand Slam gets under way later this month. "He was better than me today". "I had lots of reason to think about it".

In the other men's semi-final, Alexander Zverev will play Denis Shapovalov.

Thiem rarely looked troubled against Anderson despite his 0-6 record going into the encounter.

With a fabulous backhand victor down the line, Thiem reached his first match point at 3-5.

Anderson battled past Serbian Dušan Lajović with a 7-6, 3-6, 6-3 win to progress to the semi-finals.

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