Rafael Nadal wins Madrid open title

Rafael Nadal continued his impressive form heading into the French Open, winning his third straight title on clay Sunday with a 7-6 (8), 6-4 victory over Dominic Thiem in the Madrid Open final.

Nadal will be expected to continue his dominance over Thiem later on Sunday, May 14, and given the way he has dominated the clay court tournaments this year, the Spaniard will be expected to win the Madrid Open.

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.

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". The reason I bring this up is because Thiem is probably the second best clay courter who has played in these tournaments Nadal dominated, especially considering the recent lackluster performances from Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, and Nadal beat him handily both times.

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. Thiem drew first blood with a break for 2-1, but Nadal, using the drop shot often to take advantage of Thiem's court depth, broke back for 3-3.

The Spaniard established early superiority in the second set, breaking Thiem in the opening game to eventually improve his record to 3-1 over the upcoming Austrian.


"I'm just going to go along, and in the next three, four weeks maximum, I'll make my decisions around that, about the team", Djokovic said.

A fifth win in Madrid-not to mention his third in the last five years-puts Nadal in great stead for the upcoming French Open, where he also happens to hold the record number of titles with nine wins since 2005.

"I think I played well in the important points at the end of the first set".

The pair stayed neck and neck until Thiem lost his nerve and made two unforced errors in a row, gifting Nadal the set. "But, you know, I have lots of good things to take out of this week". I just try to go for all of them.

"This is a very emotional period of the season. Hopefully, I'll have another good result in Rome". He stormed his way through Monte Carlo and Barcelona, and aside from a tough first round in Madrid, he dominated his way through there as well. Not to mention the smackdown Nadal gave Djokovic yesterday, beating him 6-2, 6-4 in a match where Nadal dictated play the entire time.


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