Nadal overpowers Thiem to win fifth Madrid title

The Madrid Open final between Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem is set to start at 6.00pm local time, 9:30pm IST and 5:00pm BST.

Rafael Nadal defeated Dominic Thiem 7-6 (8), 6-4 Sunday in the Madrid Open final to win his third straight title and continue his good form heading into the French Open.

Nadal is now tied with Novak Djokovic for the most Masters titles and will have the chance to set a new record next week.

Nadal has been playing some of his best tennis this year.

However, Kyrgios showed little resistance after being broken once more in the first game of the second set as he was whistled from at the end by Spanish fans unhappy at only seeing Nadal on court for 73 minutes.

Imperious on serve, Nadal was able to dictate play from the baseline and when Thiem tried to take control the Spaniard's improving athleticism kept him in rallies. At the end of last year's season, was he expecting to be where is he right now? 'Normally, I don't expect anything. He stormed his way through Monte Carlo and Barcelona, and aside from a tough first round in Madrid, he dominated his way through there as well.

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. Tim had four break points, but Nadal came out of a hard situation and ended the match in their favor. "Hopefully I can do that, you know, with my team, and play better in Rome and Roland Garros".

"It is a great result", said Nadal.

Djokovic had won his last 15 sets stretching back to the 2014 French Open final against the 14-time Grand Slam champion.

It was also a 14th straight victory on clay this season with Nadal back to his very best on his favourite surface in reaching a sixth final of the year. I can actually make a strong case for that being a negative as the Scot is now very much in a period when he's going to see his number one ranking start to slip - he has many ranking points to defend at present. "It means a lot because it gives me confidence for the bigger tournaments".

On the other side of the draw Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas advanced to his first ever Masters series semi-final by outlasting German wonder kid Alexander Zverev 3-6, 6-0, 6-4.

But the Spaniard's defense only elevated as he climbed his way back into the set, evening the first set at 3-3. But his fight back was temporary as he handed the break straight back as he fired wide with a backhand after a brilliant Nadal passing shot had set up a fresh break point opportunity. "I'm on the right track", added Nadal.

Yet Federer played the Australian Open in hope in January and managed to usurp Nadal for an 18th Grand Slam.

  • Angelo Rivera