Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Nadal sees off Djokovic in semi-finals — Madrid Masters

Nadal sees off Djokovic in semi-finals — Madrid Masters

The defending champion is scheduled to meet Rafael Nadal in the semis, should the Spaniard overcome David Goffin in back-to-back Masters 1000 contest, after winning the Monte Carlo semi-final.

Nadal receives 1,000 Emirates ATP Rankings points and is expected to climb to No. 4 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, surpassing Federer.

Thiem handed the break back by netting a simple volley for 3-3, but showed admirable resistence to battle back from 0-40 when serving to stay in the set a 4-5 to force a tie-break.

Nadal second party began to break, but the hardest was waiting for the Spaniard in the tenth game, when he came to serve for the tournament.

The young gun built a promising foundation in Sunday's final and forced Nadal to a tiebreak in the first set before losing stamina in the second and struggling to keep pace with the king of clay from that point on. He could face Thiem in the quarter-finals. If he was going down, he would be going down with a fight.

Rafael Nadal has won the Madrid Open after a grueling encounter with Dominic Thiem. It's, again, a big and important tournament. I mean, he was controlling the game from beginning to the end.

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Nadal, a four-time victor in the Spanish capital, will prove a much sterner examination following his stunning straight-sets success over holder Novak Djokovic. "As I go along, I hope to continue getting better and getting stronger". Sometimes against the best players in the world, you even lose when you play well.

However finally Djokovic found a groove with his serve, held to love, and then swung a couple of fine backhand down-the-line shots and a return-of-serve victor for deuce against Nadal. Nadal last won in Madrid in 2014. Basically I couldn't do the rebreak until the end of the match. The ball was bouncing very high. "I don't think it changes a lot for me".

"After that, I calmed down".

The first set went to a tie break in which Nadal always looked to be on top, but it was not until the fifth time of asking that he was able to win the decisive point. He took the match in two sets against the youngster Dominic Thiem. “I saved a few set points playing some good shots with my forehand. "I'm very happy at the moment", Thiem added.

Nadal, who was out for much of past year because of a wrist injury, has won 30 of his last 32 sets going into the tournament in Rome this week. Right now he wants to, and needs to focus on Rome before turning his thoughts to Paris. "Hopefully I'll have another good result in Rome". "I'm not thinking about the race or anything like that", said Nadal.

"This is a very emotional period of the season". I just try to focus. "I take more positives than negatives into the next week in Rome".

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