Dominic Thiem: 'I had worse weeks in my life than this one'
- Author: Julie Sanders May 25, 2017,
May 25, 2017, 17:54
It was clear from the pair's respective entrances that Thiem would be fighting the Madrid crowd as well as Nadal on Sunday, with the Magic Box bellowing for the latter while his Austrian foe hardly produced a cheer.
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.
Nadal disposed of Novak Djokovic for his first win over the Serb for three years on Saturday and victory saw him level Djokovic's record of 30 Masters Series titles.
Nadal was brutal coming in to the second set, breaking straight away, and denying Thiem a chance to try and break back immediately, from that point on no quarter was given until Nadal pushed and pressed fir a break to finish with Thiem saving two match points in the process.
This season, Nadal improves to 15-0 on clay and has now won three consecutive titles, including two Masters 1000 crowns: Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell and the Mutua Madrid Open. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Just like Nadal, Thiem also has dropped just one set so far in the Madrid Open but the eight seed faces a completely different test against Nadal in the finals.
Anything could have happened at the end of the first set, but I think I played well the important points at the end, Nadal said.
Nadal is now on an unbeaten run of 14 matches and is looking to win his fifth title here at Madrid while Thiem is looking to win his second title of the year.
"You never know when it might be the last, so I always try to enjoy it".
"I will plan to play Rome, but we'll see." said the Japanese. I think it was a good fight out there.
Nadal has now won at least one ATP title every year since 2004.
Nadal held his serve to love in the ensuing game to move ahead at 6-5, and Thiem drove on to the tiebreak despite his opponent's best efforts to avoid any need with a last-ditch break attempt.
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. I was much, much better and much closer than in Barcelona. I saved a few set points playing some good shots with my forehand. "I was trying my best", Djokovic said.
While the result in the final did not go his way, there are plenty of positives for Them, as he is fast emerging as a unsafe player who will be looking to make a deep run at the French Open and is very much a dark horse at the second Grand Slam of the year.