Terrific Thiem Topples Nadal, Awaits Rain-Delayed Djokovic-DelPo Winner In Rome SF
by Staff | May 19th, 2017, 11:34 pm
  • 89 Comments

Picking up one of his greatest wins of his young career, Dominic Thiem outslugged and overpowered Rafael Nadal in the Rome quarterfinals today, ending the Spaniard’s 17-match win streak with an emphatic 6-4, 6-3 victory.

“It is an incredible feeling, after our last two meetings I was finally able to turn the tables and gain the win. Possibly one of my biggest wins ever! I am speechless, overwhelmed and thankful for all your support!” Thiem posted on facebook.

Thiem raced out the gate quickly building a jaw-dropping 5-1 lead in the first set. Nadal mounted a late surge winning three straight games but Thiem wouldn’t relent, taking the first set.

The Austrian continue to pound Nadal in the second, giving Rafa a taste of the medicine he’s been giving out for some many years. Thiem dictated off the ground punishing Nadal from both wings. Then the 23-year-old finally got a break and held on the for the stunning win.

“It’s a great achievement for me,” Thiem said. “If you’re up a set and a break, you never feel safe because he just doesn’t give you one easy point. So you really have to finish the match off, and that’s what I did today with a little bit of trouble in my last service game.

“He’s this kind of player who never gives up probably. Probably the best fighter in tennis. Especially on clay it’s one of the toughest things to beat him.”

Thiem finished the day with 24 winners (17 FH, 5 BH) and he broke Nadal three times. He had lost two clay finals already this year to Rafa including Sunday in the Madrid final, so revenge was oh so sweet.

“I came in with a very aggressive game style, because I knew that if I wanted to have a chance, then I would have to do something different and be more aggressive,” said Thiem.

“I knew that if it goes in, everything, maybe I have a chance. If not, maybe I also lose easy. But today was one of these days where I really felt the ball great on the racquet, and a lot of risky shots went in.

“It was a very, very good performance and I think probably one of my best matches.”

Nadal, who was seeking an 8th Rome title, isn’t worried about the loss after having won three titles in a row.

“It’s normal that one day you don’t feel perfect. If you are unlucky on that day, the opponent plays unbelievable,” said Nadal. “So tomorrow, I will be in Mallorca fishing or playing golf or doing another thing. That’s it.

“I never take Monte-Carlo, Barcelona or Rome like preparation,” said Nadal. “Every tournament is so emotional for me. Every tournament is so important. Every tournament by itself is important enough to not consider it like preparation for the other.

“It’s obvious that I did not play my best match,” he went on. “I have been playing a lot. Madrid and Rome, back-to-back, after playing Barcelona and Monte-Carlo back-to-back, so it’s not easy after playing almost every day for the past four weeks.”

Thiem will now await the winner between Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro who couldn’t finish their match due to a late evening rain storm. Djokovic was ahead 6-1, 1-2 in the match. The Serb was broken in the opening game but then he reeled off six straight to take the opener. Djokovic will serve 1-2 when play resumes.

“It’s a very tough situation in tennis. I mean, you have a big win, and the next day there is Djokovic or Del Potro waiting,” said Thiem. “It remains very, very difficult. But they are both unbelievable, big players. I think it’s going to be a tough match between them today. Whoever wins, I have to take on tomorrow.”

One semi is set and it features two other first-time Rome semifinalists in big men Alexander Zverev and John Isner.

Zverev cruised past Milos Raonic 7-6(4), 6-1 to advance to his first Masters semifinal. The German 20-year-old broke Raonic 4/5 chances and saw just four aces from the big-serving Canadian.

“It’s another stepping stone in my career,” said Zverev. “I feel like I have played very well today. I returned very well.”

Isner had to go the distance to deny Marin Cilic 7-6(3), 2-6, 7-6(2). Cilic, who was 6-0 against the American but has now lost his last two, never lost serve in the match while Isner smashed 21 aces.

“It doesn’t matter what the surface, I feel I can play well on all surfaces,” said Isner. “Nothing changes for me. Whether I’m playing on grass, hard, or clay, it’s the same recipe. I’m going to serve and hold my serve a lot. I can hold my serve in mud out there, really. So I like my serve no matter the surface. It just so happens to be that this week I’m sort of putting it together. Clay can be a great surface for me, but I also can play poorly on clay.

Zverev leads Isner 2-0, and their roots go back to Florida.

“So I’m happy to be in the semis and playing John tomorrow, who I know very well from our Saddlebrook days,” Zverev said. “We practice quite a lot together in the off season and do quite a lot of stuff together. It’s going to be a great match. I’m excited for both of us.”

SATURDAY ROME SCHEDULE
CENTRALE start 12:00 noon
WTA – [6] S. Halep (ROU) vs [15] K. Bertens (NED)
Not Before 1:30 pm
J. del Potro (ARG) vs [2] N. Djokovic (SRB) – to be finished 16 21
Not Before 2:30 pm
ATP – [16] A. Zverev (GER) vs J. Isner (USA)
Not Before 5:00 pm
WTA – [3] G. Muguruza (ESP) vs [8] E. Svitolina (UKR)
Not Before 8:00 pm
ATP – [8] D. Thiem (AUT) vs J. del Potro (ARG) or [2] N. Djokovic (SRB)
ATP – [4] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) vs [2] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)


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89 Comments for Terrific Thiem Topples Nadal, Awaits Rain-Delayed Djokovic-DelPo Winner In Rome SF

skeezer Says:

Thiem can repeat this perfornance I believe. But he does not need to outhit Rafa, next time he just needs to out think him. Be smart, be patient.


Colin Says:

Agreed, Skeezer, and a big weapon that can work against Rafa when he comes to the net, is the lob. Mind you, this is a skill that is not acquired overnight, and Thiem may not yet have it in his armoury.

BTW, are you by any chance the Skeezer who used to post on the Australian Sportal forum?


Wog Boy Says:

Come on people, Thiem is my favorite, but Rafa hasn’t given his 100%, don’t get carried away, there is a bigger fish to fry in few weeks time, Uncle Toni is old fox.
As for beating Rafa by using lob, good luck with that, Rafa comes to net only when he is sure that he can and will execute.
Nevertheless, god job Dominic.


Wog Boy Says:

Rafa loves to use the “unbelievable” word, saves him from explaining the things:)


Van Persie Says:

Thiem played very agressive yesterday. It was the best match from Thiem against Rafa.Think Rafa wanted to win, as he knew there was a good opportunity to beat Nole again in a possible semifinal.

Rafa was not 100% in the match, but Thiem was also desadvanteged by the schedule in Madrid.

Am not sure that, Thiem can play like yesterday best of 5 against Rafa in Rome.


Wog Boy Says:

I don’t know VP, I’ve seen only the highlights and to me Rafa didn’t look too upset at the end after that unusually wide FH, even at the press conference.
Either way it is huge confidence boost for Thiem, he might even go all the way to win Rome, particularly considering in what state will be Delpo and Nole by having to play two matches in one day.


Van Persie Says:

My point was, Rafa gave not his best (tired or expected a tough match and did not want to get a match like the one in Madrid against Nole 2009) but you have to watch the whole thing , WB. Thiem was really, really agressive.

Damn schedule. At lesst they have roofs in Madrid…Here, niente


Van Persie Says:

P.S. WB…broke my promise. I watch Nole’s matches. Could use the excuse: I watch the opponent :D


Van Persie Says:

Hope Halep wins 2 set asap, so that the othe match can start.


Kimberly Says:

Skeezer, many people hoped Soderling could repeat the performance, but he could not. Sorry but I see it as the same. If Nadal game is working at capacity Thiem will not pose a significant threat.


Van Persie Says:

It’s raining again.


Giles Says:

Colin. Shouldn’t you be working on tactics for Sir Muzzz??


Wog Boy Says:

They are showing last night match now, Nole was hitting groundies nice and deep, almost as good as old Nole, didn’t give much chances to Delpo to unleash the beast, the FH. He kept Delpo way behind the base line and he stayed on the base line and dictated the poinths. Daytime works better for Delpo, the ball flys faster.
Got to go now.


J-Kath Says:

VP:

Reminds me of a nursery rhythm…”Rain, rain go away, come again another day, little Nole wants to play…….” Blooming frustrating.

Talking tennis players: Roger Federer now mixing with the Brit. royals – is a guest at Pippa’s wedding…..


Wog Boy Says:

JK,
Have seen that on news tonight, can’t wait for the thread about that;)


Van Persie Says:

Match it’s about to start. New day, new match…


Van Persie Says:

Haha JK,

Starting to think Nole is the rainmann :)


Van Persie Says:

Nole started well. Same game plan and it works.


skeezer Says:

Colin,
Sorry not that guy.
Kimberly,
Said T could repeat, not would ;), just don’t see anyone else going to challenge Rafa.
Rafa has proven in this seasons Clay run he is still da man and the guy to beat. He has gotten that aggressive warrior attitude back. Look out.


Margot Says:

1) Opinions are fine and we all express them all the time. But they aren’t facts.
2) Any player wanting to know how to beat JMDP should watch that match. Nole showed how to do it very effectively. Seems to me JMDP’s back hand is still really vulnerable. That match reminded me of how Rafa used to beat Fed.


Van Persie Says:

^ Ok, Nole needs now a new strategy with Thiem :)


Margot Says:

^ Drop shot, drop shot, drop shot….then lobitty loo!


Van Persie Says:

And agree Margot, Thiem and Becker would be a good fit.


Van Persie Says:

Out now for lunch, delayed by the rain in Rome.
Hope Nole did read you, Margot ;)


J-Kath Says:

WB:

We’ll probably get a blow-by-blow account of what Fed. wore – hope they don’t forget Pippa in the process…..


Kimberly Says:

To me Nadal largest threat at Roland garros is djokovic


RZ Says:

I thought the FO draw would be out today but the website says the draw won’t be available until tomorrow, so I’ll post the bracket challenge tomorrow as soon as I can.


Wog Boy Says:

JK,
I don’t have dout about that:)

Zverev is playing perfect match so far, not much that Isner can do.


Wog Boy Says:

^^
and Zverev is proving to be really all courts player.


Margot Says:

Zverev’s ROS is impressive t.


Anto Says:

Looks like this set will be decided in a tiebreaker.


Margot Says:

Well done Zverev!
Yipperdoodah!


J-Kath Says:

Dokovich vs. Thiem was previously listed for 8.00pm but is now listed as 7.00pm. Weather alert?


Daniel Says:

Agree Kimberly. Thiem would have to have another performance of lifetime but he is songsr the second best this clay season and thenone who stoped Nadal.

If djokovic indeed qins Rome as I thubk he will now. He will be a threat to Nadal. He can’t play worst than he did in Madrid and his game is getting better each day. Today he played deep and DTL shots working fine. Plus his BH was sharp and inside out FH also. Everythibk starting to click again.


Daniel Says:

3 straight FH errors bt Thiem and Djoko looking as good as ever, deep returns, no Unforced Error and heavy depth shots, Triple BP.

Looks like these last 8 matches in 2 weeks fine tuned Djoko’s game. Peaking just at the right time.


Daniel Says:

And he breaks and already cheering up.


Truth Says:

Nadal plays A level and still loses easily. Thiem was dismissed as a nobody beforehand because he lost to Djoker before.
Nadal beat Fed many times without playing A level tennis, then Fed was glorified as the prettiest and best player ever!

Yet, Djoker’s abysmal behavior and matches from 2009 and 2016 were treated as normal Djoker level!
Backwards world we live in…


Daniel Says:

Some crazy points already when Thiem is not missing FH’s


Daniel Says:

Thiem is spaning the balls trying to go for winners but is rushing and making too many mistakes, from both wings. Djoko 4-0 and serve.


Joshua Says:

Novak has started this match with a bang. Thiem doesn’t seem to have a chance


Van Persie Says:

Wow. Marko Djokovic might be the best coach in the world!


Daniel Says:

Djoko flawless on returns pushing Thiem back all the time. Them hasn’t won a single second serve point so far.


Giles Says:

Lol. Is this even a match?? Very poor from Thiem!


Giles Says:

Poor Daniel. His biggest worry is Nadal!


Van Persie Says:

Just woke up and saw the score. Can’t believe this !


Daniel Says:

Loving watch this Novak over celebrating. Anything that help him gets his mojo back.


Van Persie Says:

What a DS. This was for Marhot :)


Van Persie Says:

^ Margot


Truth Says:

Floons said he was gonna struggle terribly or lose to Del Po again.
Who was inflicted with old age and inferiority since 2007? Olderer or Djoker?


Joshua Says:

This s nothing short of crushing!
Total humbling of Thiem by a resurgent Nole


Daniel Says:

VP, he is playing flawless, his best match of 2017, better than Doha.


Daniel Says:

IF Djoko keep returning like this he will get his 13 Slam and second career Slam in 3 weeks time.

Huge favorite against Zverev tomorrow, He may have a better serve than Thiem, but Djoko was totally in the zone. Everything was clicking.

Told you before, just 1 good tournament and things can shift fast in tennis. Djoko blood in his eyes again;-)

Also, Thiem’s game doesn’t do well against Djoko.


Giles Says:

Hollow victory!


Wog Boy Says:

Good Lord, just woke up, haven’t make a coffee yet and checked the result…..no wonder TX is in mourning;)


J-Kath Says:

Unbelievable – too late to see the match/hear it – just saw the scoreline half way thru my evening meal. What happened to Thiem? Also which star from above did Nole descend from. What a scoreline – imagine those of you caught it in time to watch thought you needed your eyes checked.

Stopping drivellng now – just to say, Nole is back with a vengeance.


Van Persie Says:

Wow Daniel,

I saw only the 2 set. Cannot believe this. Thiem was like paralised.


Old School Says:

No one paid attention to my post last week that Novak had ceased using the same advantage that Federer and Nadal have been using that allowed them to regain their stature physicality focus in the tennis world. Novaks performance so dramatically different from last week. Commentator Tracy said Nivsk is 25% a better player than he was last week. His service returns with 25% deeper, so we’re his ground strokes. His Focus was laser-sharp the service game with 25% more velocity. The wonders of chemistry


chrisford1 Says:

Kimberley – “To me Nadal largest threat at Roland garros is djokovic.”

As it should be, at least for a few more years. The best clay player and the 2nd best player on clay of this generation, Novak Djokovic.
Both guys are going for a big thing in their career resumes should they win. Rafa’s La Decima obviously, and the man who could save Rafa from forever being pigeonholed as a clay wonder goes for a double Career Slam.
Federer COULD be going for a double career slam as well, but as everyone knows, he is done with the French Open and will never show to try again…
Rafa now has a unique curse. He is an awesome grass and hardcourt player, and has the titles and W-L records on those surfaces to prove it. And long after he is retired, deserves to be remembered as one of the best all surface players ever. But is so good on clay that the more he adds to his records there, the more future tennis fans will think he was a clay superman, with a mediocre record off clay.
Only 1 tennis arena confounds Nadal…that is the indoor venue.


Wog Boy Says:

VP,
I remember last year FO SF, Thiem had great CC season yet Nole schooled Thiem too. All five matches against Thiem Nole won pretty much convincingly.
Zverev is different kind of player, one whose style that doesn’t really suits Nole.


Van Persie Says:

Yep WB,

But still, haven’t seen Nole hitting so accurate since a good while, excepting against DelPo last match.

Zverev will be different, but still, am impressed.

And feel a bit sorry for Thiem. He won’t forget easily what happened today!


Wog Boy Says:

“The wonders of chemistry”

Wonders of eating fish again, good friend of mine told me that her friends were sitting in the same restaurant Nole was dining, when he left they called waiter and asked him what was he eating, the answer was “fish”..


Van Persie Says:

This match up is very interesting. Thiem won against Rafa 2 times, Zverev never.

Zverev beat Federer 2 times. Also think he will trouble Nole tomorrow more than Thiem today. It is theyr 1 match tomorrow.


chrisford1 Says:

J-Kath “Stopping drivellng now – just to say, Nole is back with a vengeance.”

Beware of the dead cat bounce, as many a Rafa fan found to their pain from 2015-present. Nadal does great in a tournament, his long suffering fans ember of hope turns into a blaze, then he loses badly at the next Tour event…
Djokovic has been a titty waving, tree&Marco hugging, pure pile of putrescence so many months that any Novak fan best have some encouragement, but hold off on touting Djokovic as being fully back to the guy that has more or less dominated tennis since 2011.

Still, his destruction of Thiem has made a statement. He seems to be on the way back, no longer on the road to perdition.


Wog Boy Says:

Yes VP,
Nole always has a problem when he plays somebody first time, let’s hope his coach Marko can give him tips how to play vs Zverev.


Wog Boy Says:

I checked the stats and Nole’s return must’ve been on fire, I mean Thiem served nice percentage, yet he won onle 46% of serve and 15% of second serve!


Daniel Says:

Commentors on my TV said that players love Rome restaurant because it has by far the best meals on tour.

Maybe Djoko couldn’t help it and made a “cheat meal” as the bodybuilders use to say😜


Wog Boy Says:

Agree about Italian food, can eat literally anything they bring me without even ordering it myself, but this was well before Rome.


Van Persie Says:

^^

Halep is eating too much ice crean in Rome. :)


Wog Boy Says:

JK,
How was the wedding, did he have cobra tuxedo, be the first to inform us, best the Sean?
They said on the news that only setting up lavatory for the guests for the wedding costed them hundreds of thousands of dollars, royal bums need special care;)


Wog Boy Says:

beat the Sean..


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Wow!
Looks like Novak is back. This makes for a FAR more interesting French open.
I hope that Thiem will be able to at least come close to that form he had against Rafa again, but I wonder if that was a match-of-a-lifetime thing for him.
As for Novak, this is a year-rightening week, I think. Too bad, but I don’t think Andy’s going to be ready to join him at the party just yet.


J-Kath Says:

Apologies for duplication – didn’t appear as if the article had pasted properly.

Good news: Nole is back….was Pepe there?


J-Kath Says:

Wog Boy:

You know who really pays for all those wonderful Victorian toilets….65 million UK idiots.


Wog Boy Says:

Pepe is still in Simpson desert somewhere, after reading Margot’s post about two religions coming out of the desert I realized and went back to get him out before it is too late for the world, but cheeky bugger befriended native people (Aboriginals) and wondered into the desert with them, they are the only ones who can survive in desert.
Now we have to wait for 42 days until he comes back, with few wise men, the world is doomed, my fault, my apology to all humans.


Daniel Says:

Djoko and Zverev will move to #5 and #6 at race points ahead of Wawrinka Monday. Who ever wins tomorrow stays on top. Zverev can move to #4 if he wins


J.S. Says:

That’s the only reason I cared if Rafa won vs. Thiem, he would’ve been #3 but would it make a difference in RG draw? Yes or No?


chrisford1 Says:

Wog – Saw pics of Federer and Mirka. I have to say Roger was sartorially perfect. Looked like a noble with lots of titles (22nd Earl of Frothingsham, subaltern Viscount to the Admiralty, etc.) of and old family money and rents affording his tastes.
Mirka has lost weight. Looks much better.

J-Kath, your Queen-to-Be surely must have one of the finest bums in the realm. If one of the 65 million not yet on the dole wants to bow out, I will pick up the tax load to ensure Kate’s posterior rests only on the finest of “thrones.”


skeezer Says:

@6:30 post
Who cares?

Congrats Nole for making the final. Heard you’re eating Fish. Oh goody. Are you all better now?


Wog Boy Says:

“Who cares?”

Are you illiterate, read the posts Slimy, JK cares, she asked the question.


chrisford1 Says:

Dear Skeezer, the same doctor that laid a slice of bread on Novak’s stomach to show how gluten weakened him laid a dead fish on Novak’s stomach this time. Djokovic then carried the doctor on his back up and down 200 stadium steps, twice.
Next up, the doc told crying vegans Marco and Jelena, we try a raw porkchop or steak on his stomach.


Wog Boy Says:

CF1,

Pippa has far nicer bum, ask Nole;)


skeezer Says:

WB,
“JK cares”
Ok. Sorry. That’s 1.


J.S. Says:

Agree!!! Who cares?? Such hoopla on Roger – he should change his last name to Kardashian


Margot Says:

JKath @ 6.21
Doubt if British tax payers actually paid for this one. The Middletons are very rich in their own right, as is Pippa’s new hubster.
No need to come to us with a begging bowl in this instance.
Share your sentiments about the monarchy tho.


Margot Says:

PS
Middletons should open a marriage bureau! How did they do it?

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