Thiem Picks Up First Career Win Over A No. 1, Spoils Nadal-Murray Final In Barcelona
by Staff | April 29th, 2017, 11:43 pm

Dominic Thiem dashed the hopes of a dream Rafael Nadal-Andy Murray final in Barcelona when the Austrian took down Murray 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 earlier today in the semifinals.

Thiem squandered a break lead in the third but with Murray serving 4-5, 15-0, the Scot didn’t win another point giving up uncharacteristic errors and Thiem took with an exception lob that Murray couldn’t return.

It was Thiem’s first career win over a World No. 1.

“It’s the first win, so it’s really something special,” said Thiem of beating a No. 1. “But it’s also the first win over a Top 10 guy this season. There are many positive things to take from today’s match. For me personally, it’s the best victory this year so far. I went down in the third set when he broke me in the first game. But the way I came back mentally was a huge step forward today.”

Murray, who took a late wildcard into the event, was in his first Barcelona semifinal.

“In the first set, I didn’t have many chances, but I started to play better in the second,” said Murray. “It was quite windy out there and difficult to get into a rhythm. He started to hit the ball pretty hard and was pushing me back. When the conditions are like that, it’s important to be the one dictating the points. I started to do a better job of that, but in that last game I missed a couple shots I shouldn’t have.
“I got three matches in three days against all different players. Feli uses a lot of slice and variation, Ramos yesterday is a lefty and today against Dominic, who plays with the kick serve and so much spin. To play two hours today after three yesterday, will be good for me.”

Thiem finished with 41 winners (25 from the forehand) and 6 aces.

In the final, Thiem will meet Nadal who had no trouble with Horacia Zeballos blitzing the Argentine lefty 6-3, 6-4.

Thiem beat Nadal last year in Buenos Aires but Rafa’s won both their European clay meetings in straight sets.

“It would be a big honour to play the nine-time champion here tomorrow,” Thiem said. “To get two matches in a row against two of the best players ever is big for my game.”

Nadal is 52-3 at the event and he’s won 9 of his last 10 matches.

“It’s not a surprise that Dominic is in the final. He is one of the best in the world, and he loves clay,” Nadal said. “At the beginning of the tournament, he was already one of the main favourites to be in the final.

“He is a player with a lot of power. He imposes a lot on his shots, and if you let him be comfortable, it’s almost impossible to stop him. It’s going to be a difficult match, the type of match where either you play great or you won’t win.”

Nadal is seeking a 10th Barcelona title which would equal his record mark at Monte Carlo. He’ll also try for his 71st overall title and 51st on clay.

In the Budapest final, Lucas Pouille will meet British qualifier Aljaz Bedene. Pouille stopped Paolo Lorenzi while Bedene bested Laslo Djere.

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17 Comments for Thiem Picks Up First Career Win Over A No. 1, Spoils Nadal-Murray Final In Barcelona

Humble Rafa Says:

10 is on my mind every day.

gonzalowski Says:

Nadal very serious, serving well, already a great FH winner… it’s gonna be a herculean task for Thiem, this work!

gonzalowski Says:

5-4 Both playing very well, Thiem hitting super-hard with FH, looking for the lines.
As always ever, you don’t feel afraid when Rafa doesn’t get 1st service and goes with 2nd, 7 of 9 won today (well maybe against Nole, Fed or so). Sometimes with the 1st, himself gets a bit surprised and the game becomes like too fast for him.

Van orten Says:

Great choking there thiem to lose the set

Van orten Says:

Let him win already thiem . You don’t have what is needed to beat Rafa on clay today . Let him win everything till Paris . The the great awakening will arise for him .

Van orten Says:

One thing is sure . Rogers backhand is better than Thiems

gonzalowski Says:

Van Orten, awakening from…? Thiem?
could be, he’s very good

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Happy for Rafa, but I got bored after the first few games. Don’t remember the last time I’ve seen two players that far from the baseline.

I had time to go for a hot dog during a forehand.

Anyway, the game is better for having Rafa back at the top and for Thiem to re-emerge as a legit challenger. If only we had a #1 and 2 to round out the competition.

Giles Says:

Well done Champion. Another amazing feat!

gonzalowski Says:

Titles record, and confetti record on the ceremony after the match! spilled with catalonian cava.
Rafa speaking spanish, WELL! respect for non catalonian speakers.
Bank Sabadell is tourney’s sponsor and Rafa’s sponsor, too

Daniel Says:

With this win unless Nadal lsoes early in one of Madrid/Rome and doesn’t reach finals in neither (very unlikely) at this point, Nadal willemter RG as #1 race lead.

And there ks a very high chance now that he overcomes Federer for #4 ranking and seed avoiding Djoko/Murray/Wawa before semis. Thsi alao if one of top 3 do reach semis.

Rnking points for Federer and Nadal as of Monday and minus remaing clay points from last year from madrid/Rome

– Federer: 5125 – 90 (Rome) = 5035 entering RG assuming he doesn’t play neither upcoming Masters.

– Nadal: 4235 + 500 (Barcelona) – 360 (Madrid) – 180 (Rome) = 4375

So, Nadal will need to gain 670 pts in Madrid and Rome, assuming Fed doesn’t play, and he will be seeded #4 for Garros.

He seems on a mission for his triple 10th.

gonzalowski Says:

According to Daniel’s numbers, making ‘only’ final on the 2 events he’d make 660 pts, and wouldn’t get it.

He needs to win one, and doing well in the other.

Kimberly Says:

so do we think rafa will play both rome and madrid?

Kimberly Says:

seems he has been playing a lot of tennis lately. If he wants to have a chance at RG is it better for him to play or rest? It seems like he has played more than anyone else.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Kimberly, I have a bad feeling he’s going to make both finals and will be out of gas at some point in the French.

Daniel Says:

He played 29 matches so far, reached 5 finals of 7 tourneys played, and only did not reach IW finals because he was drawn to Federer early.

Finals in AO, Acapulco, Madrid
Title MC and Barcelona

3 straight finals from Miami to now, 29 matches played.

I also think he will play everything, he never ever skipped a clay Masters, only once (if I am not mistaken) he skipped Barcelona, that in 2010, only time he won all 4 clay tourneys he played: MC, Madrid, Rome and RG.

Not sure if he will burn out, this week was relatively easy for him, all straight sets wins, a lot of 6-1 6-2 sets and under 90 minutes matches, which for him is less than practice.

Think he should be fine for Madrid and Rome if he avoids long matches in the process.
We have to check draw first and if everybody will be fit to play. A lot of players did not he the first yet.

Top story: Nadal, Djokovic Cruise Into Monte Carlo Quarters; Zverev, Thiem Tumble Out