Rafael Nadal is being quoted at even money to win a 10th French Open after he bundled his old rival Novak Djokovic out of the Madrid Masters in straight sets.
The 30-year-old Nadal won his fifth Mutua Madrid Open title and his record-tying 30th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown, matching World No. 2 Novak Djokovic for the all-time lead.
And eventually it was Nadal who prevailed with his fifth set point when Thiem fired long.
In what was a rematch of the final in Barcelona, Nadal was given a much harder task from the Austrian with the first set going into a one-hour-and-18-minute tie-break.
Regarding today's game, he was realistic, saying that Nadal didn't allow him to play better, although he had many unforced errors.
This battle was much closer as Nadal pulled off a 7-6 6-4 win where Thiem managed to save two Championship points at 5-4 in the second set.
Nadal is meeting in the final, better from the match between Cuevas and Thiem. "I saved a few set points playing some good shots with my forehand". "Sometimes against the best players in the world, you even lose when you play well".
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Firmly placed as the World Number 1, after having completed the career Grand Slam, holding all four majors, and winning six of the previous eight Grand Slam trophies, Djokovic's season plunged after the French Open, and the hangover seems to have penetrated 2017. "I really enjoy these tournaments", Nadal said. "I am always very nervous and emotional to play a final in Madrid", a relieved Nadal said after Sunday's win, via Yahoo Sports.
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. Basically I couldn't do the rebreak until the end of the match. "He has already reached a Masters 1000 final and is sure to play more", he said.
The Spaniard delighted his home fans by downing Austria's Dominic Thiem in the final, 7-6, 6-4. I think I played a good first set. In Monte-Carlo and Barcelona I did well, same here. "It shows you you're working in the right way", said Nadal, who has thrived after struggling with his game for two years.
The downside for the Italian is he's got a poor record in Rome, winning just five of 14 matches, a fact that puts me off siding with him at 80/1 in the outright market.
Romania's Simona Halep successfully defended her Madrid Open title in the Women's Tennis Association Premier Mandatory event.
Defending champion Djokovic, who broke with long-time coach Marian Vajda and his staff the week before the tournament in a bid to reverse his downward trajectory of results in the previous year, surrendered his serve again in the third game, and Nadal held to go 4-0 up.