Nadal beats Thiem in Madrid, wins 3rd straight title

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.

The Spaniard looks in ominous form with just over two weeks to go till the start of the French Open as he stretched his ideal record on clay this season to 14-0 with a dominant display.

"I feel great that I could defend this title", Halep said.

"I'm not going to share anything with you now", Djokovic said Saturday after a 62, 64 loss to Nadal. I lost the break there. Those matchups always mean something, and it was obvious Nadal was the better player.

"The circumstances nowadays are completely different compared to those seven matches that occurred before". Nadal had lost 15 straight sets against Djokovic, and won only one of the last 12 matches against him in four years.

World number one Andy Murray may have wowed the crowds at the Foro Italico previous year when he bossed Serbia's four-time champion Novak Djokovic in the final to claim his maiden win in the Italian capital.

However, that run was emphatically ended as Nadal, willed on by a fervent home support including Cristiano Ronaldo in the VIP boxes, made the ideal start by breaking the Djokovic serve to love. But I did try my best.

Nadal meets David Goffin in the quarter-finals on Friday after the Belgian beat Milos Raonic 6-4 6-2, while Djokovic will play Japanese sixth seed Kei Nishikori, who saw off David Ferrer of Spain 6-4 6-3. "His quality was very high and he managed to do whatever he wanted, especially in the first set". "I'm on the right track", added Nadal.

"His quality was very high".

The clay court king was taken to the wire by world No.9 Thiem as a tie breaker was needed to separate the men in the first set.

Djokovic was playing his first tournament in Madrid since parting company with his long-term coach Marian Vajda.

There were more positive signs for the Serb in the second set as he recovered an early break of serve, punching his fist in delight, but Nadal would quickly re-establish the advantage.

Djokovic showed his resistence of old to break back when Nadal netted after being stretched out on the backhand side to level at 2-2.

"I think he played a very good match in Barcelona".

"It's down to me", he said. These tournaments are so strong, so it's fantastic for me to go that far.

Djokovic, though, fired long with a volley on Nadal's third match point sparking wild scenes of celebration.

  • Jo Lloyd