Nadal Downs Dominic Thiem; Wins Madrid Open

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Clay court master, Rafael Nadal defeated in-form Dominic Thiem to win the Madrid Masters for a fifth time on Sunday.

The Spanish superstar won 7-6 (10/8), 6-4 to take his record on his favourite surface to 15-0 this year having also picked up his 10th titles in Monte Carlo and Barcelona over the past weeks.

Victory makes the 14-time Grand Slam champion a strong favourite to add a 10th French Open crown next month as moves above Roger Federer to fourth in the ATP world rankings.

Nadal, 30, dispatched old foe Novak Djokovic for his first win over the Serb in three years on Saturday and has now tied him on a record 30 Masters titles.

Thiem, now seventh on the rankings, struck the first blow by breaking Nadal’s serve to move into a 3-1 first set lead.

He however handed the break back by netting a simple volley for 3-3, but fought back to force a tiebreak despite going 0-40 when serving to stay in the set at 4-5.

But battle-hardened Nadal prevailed with his fifth set point having already saved two of Thiem’s.

The 23-year-old Austrian was broken to start the second set, and he never really recovered from it as Nadal consolidated the break before serving out for the title despite blowing two match points.

•Sport writer/blogger • Media strategist •Good citizen of Nigeria and Social Media Evangelist and a core die hard Real Madrid fan.

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