Rafael Nadal beats Dominic Thiem to win fifth title — Madrid Open

15 Mai, 2017, 23:55 | Author: Claudine Rigal
  • Rafael Nadal beats Dominic Thiem to win fifth title — Madrid Open

The triumph at his home tournament gave Nadal his 72nd career title, and 52nd on clay.

"Rafa was obviously a better player today", said Djokovic. "I don't think it changes a lot for me".

Rome will be Djokovic's last tournament before he defends his title at the French Open.

"I felt comfortable hitting the ball the last few days, physically ready, mentally sharp as well".

"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; it was a very exciting game", Nadal said.

In an even first set, Nadal had to save two set points in the tiebreaker.

And eventually it was Nadal who prevailed with his fifth set point when Thiem fired long.

World number one Andy Murray may have wowed the crowds at the Foro Italico a year ago when he bossed Serbia's four-time champion Novak Djokovic in the final to claim his maiden win in the Italian capital. "What I know for sure is that I'm doing my very best to rediscover myself in a new way and get the new strength and the new skin, so to speak". "After that I went for it".

The Madrid Open was Djokovic's first tournament since he parted ways with longtime coach Marian Vajda and two other team members to try to regain his "winning spark on the court". "He has already reached a Masters 1000 final and is sure to play more", Nadal said.

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"It was a good fight out there".

Nadal's movement was back to his best on Manolo Santana and the fourth seed produced some resolute defensive play when required, while his forehand proved to be a deadly weapon once again. The 14-times Grand Slam victor broke in the opening game of the second set and saved a break point in the next, maintaining a two-game advantage until a thrilling 10th game.

Bedene and Djokovic have locked horns at the Australian Open and Roland Garros over the past two years, with Djokovic winning 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in 2015 and 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 in 2016 respectively.

Nadal, who was out for much of previous year because of a wrist injury, has won 30 of his last 32 sets going into the tournament in Rome this week.

He defeated Djokovic in the semifinals in Madrid, snapping a seven-match winless streak against the second-ranked Serb.

As the Spanish "King of Clay" continues to pick up momentum on the dirt courts, Djokovic's French Open title could also come under threat.

"This is a very emotional period of the season".

"I felt that the start of the season went really well for me this year, winning in Doha". I did well in Monte-Carlo and Barcelona, and also here (at Madrid).

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