Published: Tue, May 23, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Rafael Nadal lifts title to match Novak Djokovic's record — Madrid Open

Rafael Nadal lifts title to match Novak Djokovic's record — Madrid Open

Rafael Nadal snapped a seven-match losing streak against Novak Djokovic in commanding fashion as he romped into the final of the Madrid Masters 6-2, 6-4 on Saturday. "If we both play can go either way".

The upcoming match will be the 5th meeting between the Austrian and the Spaniard, a 3: 1 confrontation in favor of Rafa. All in all, I did try my best.

Djokovic, the defending champion, advanced when Kei Nishikori withdrew before their quarterfinal because of a wrist injury.

It stretched Nadal's imperious run on clay to 15 unanswered wins and three titles in 2017, installing him as the firm favourite for the French Open. I'm 31 years old.

He has 14-0 on clay this season.

As a former champion, the Spanish tennis star is poised to be the favorite.

If Nadal wins Madrid, he will win for a third straight week.

Nadal held his serve to love in the ensuing game to move ahead at 6-5, and Thiem drove on to the tiebreak despite his opponent's best efforts to avoid any need with a last-ditch break attempt.

Nadal, who turns 31 next month, saved five of the six break points he faced en route to a memorable triumph at the Caja Magica, that hosted a sell-out crowd that included Brazilian star footballer, Ronaldo.

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Was Djokovic, though, starting to find his rhythm and focus?

It was another categorical win in what has been a superb season for the fifth-ranked Nadal, who will be trying to win his third straight title on Sunday.

Again Djokovic's level improved as the set wore on to make Nadal serve it out.

That surely would flood Djokovic with self-belief, except a double fault suggested otherwise.

Nadal knows there are reasons to be cautios, but he appears unwilling to give up his chance to pick up more momentum at Rome next week.

But perhaps a day without competition effected his rhythm as he struggled to compete with Nadal, who claimed the first set with few problems.

But the home hero reverted to his impregnable best through a long rally, finishing with a pitch-perfect drop shot. However, what Djokovic does indeed have going on for him is the mental edge that he would have over Nadal. He also beat Thiem in the Barcelona final in a much more lopsided contest. The clear favorite for Roland Garros and having accomplished all of his immediate goals, the question now becomes if Nadal, at nearly 31, even plays Rome or elects to rest. He deserved to win. "What's important to me is to make it to another final". I'm expecting the best Djokovic tomorrow. It wasn't a very high quality of tennis from my side. Today was warmer than last three, four days, so conditions were quite different.

It is hard to disagree-and it would his 10th there too. "It's true that some matches are more important than others", quoted Nadal as saying.

Ranked fifth in the world, the Spaniard was set to meet Austrian Dominic Thiem in the final early this morning (Singapore time).

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