Nadal Stays Perfect During Claycourt Season, Beating Thiem in ATP Madrid Final

by Staff | May 14th, 2017, 8:03 pm

Another week on the claycourt circuit, another title for Rafael Nadal.
The anointed “King of clay” improved to 15-0 on the dirt this year after Sunday claiming the Mutua Madrid Open title, defeating Dominic Thiem 7-6(8), 6-4 in the championship.

It was a fifth Madrid title for the 30-year-old Spaniard and a 30th career Masters 1000 title, tying Novak Djokovic for the all-time lead. His claycourt haul thus far this season includes Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid, losing only two sets in the process.

“This is a very emotional period of the season,” Nadal said. “I really enjoy these tournaments. I just try to go for all of them. I try to compete. I did well in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, and also here. I hope to do the same in Rome.”

Nadal was under the spotlight in the semifinal against Djokovic, who he had lost to three consecutive times on clay, but he mowed past his former No. 1 and rival in straight sets.

The Spaniard improved to 72-35 in career finals, and 3-3 in 2017, with all three losses coming on hardcourts.

The 23-year-old Thiem was contesting his first Masters 1000 final, and fell to 8-5 in career finals and 1-2 this year. He broke early for a 2-1 lead in the first set but could not handle Nadal’s forehand relentlessly pounding his one-handed backhand side.

“How he plays after his serve, it’s unbelievable,” Thiem said. “He hits so many forehands. You’re under pressure after his serve almost every time.”

Nadal with the win will surpass Roger Federer on the ATP Rankings, rising to No. 4, while Thiem moves up to a career-high No. 7.

“I gave everything that I could,” Thiem said. “But it was a final of a Masters 1000, my first one, against the best player on this surface ever. Sometimes against the best players in the world, you even lose when you play well.”

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11 Comments for Nadal Stays Perfect During Claycourt Season, Beating Thiem in ATP Madrid Final

Wog Boy Says:

Don’t worry Dominic, you’ll have a second chance in a few days time in QF in Rome.

madmax Says:

Wonderful news for Rafa, but more importantly…/ :-) Willow and Okie!

I didn’t think that the result would be anything different.

Giles, third tournament in a row, after injury – what have YOU got to say for YOURSELF after your disparaging comments about Roger?

Giles Says:

madmax. All I have to say is well done Rafa. What a champion!! :)

Danica Says:

Or Nole for that matter?

Well done and big congrats to Rafa and most of his fans!!! Good luck to anyone standing accross the net :). He is now tied with Nole for the most masters trophies and will most likely surpass him come next Sunday.

Interesting tennis times! ;)

lylenubbins Says:

Nice win for Rafa. Thiem showed that at his best he can bet Rafa on clay, he was outplaying Rafa for big chunks of that match. Tennis Channel was showing stats that Thiem is actually putting more rotation on the ball than Rafa. Who ever thought you would see that?

Daniel Says:

The problem for Thiem is that he plays too far behind, sometime even more away than nadal. That won’t cut it on clay where Nadal has more time to hit his shots. Fognini, the obly one able to take a set off Nadal last week plays closer to the baseline and taking everything on the rise (something Fed did all HC season).

If you don’t step on tbe court and take time away from Nadal (soderling) you can’t beat gik on clay. Only of he is tired, injured or totally without confidence as it was in some part of 2015-2016 SA and Euripean clay.

Jatin Says:

Congrts rafa and his fans.. He is playing unbelievable and huge favourite for the french open.

Meanwhile, fed has withdrawn from the French open.

Its logical decision I guess.

J-Kath Says:

Jatin: That explains why they talked about what he would be wearing for the FO but then said words to the effect that if he actually played. Taa.

Willow Says:

Many thanks Jatin ;-) ….

Vinod Says:

@jatin disappointed but it’s his decision and we have to be happy about it

Willow Says:

Its unusual for him to miss a GS ….

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