One of those matches we wait alle the year to happen. Unfortunately not in final. Let’s forget it. Expect a great match. Coric has tested Thiem to the limits. Rafa was not yet tested.
Let’s hope, Dominic continues his yesterday’s game and who knows better Rafa on clay than him? Dominic knows well, how to play Rafa to have some chance to defeat him. But Rafa is in an unbeatable form, maybe the best clay season of his life. I don’t mean his win record. I mean the game. The best CLAY RAFA ever.
What can we expect from Dominic? To make Rafa fight. To make Rafa run. To try to push Rafa to so much behind the baseline possible. Then there is some chance for a win.
But if this is end station – a loss or a win, costing so much, he cannot win next match against anyone – don’t cry. Some others in Madrid were here on mission impossible and … the fortune has rewarded their courage.
Let it be again KING vs. PRINCE battle. Some day the PRINCE MUST TURN KING 🙂
Written on 11.05.2018, 06:56
VENI, VIDI, VICI !!!
(Click the image to watch the whole match)
I’m just watching the match one more time and some more technical comment comes later today.
Let me post (as first comment) this screenshot from FedFans forum (www.perfect-tennis.com), a message from FedFans telling everything about how they hate Nadal and “love” (for 3 seconds) everyone who beats Nadal and “saves” Federer’s records and ranking no. 1. Poor Fed – deserves a better sort of fans 🙂 I’m sure, Dominic hates nobody and “loves his foes”, both winning and losing.
This was the false “love message” from Rafa haters., calling themselves Federer fans. My “love message” and comment comes later.
Updated 11.05.2018, 20:44
And what a big day for the loving pair !!!. Kiki winning first semifinal in doubles and then sitting in Dominic’s box to get more happiness about Dominic’s win and first of all big game 🙂
Updated 11.05.2018, 20:52
This was just what Bresnik means, telling “only few know, what Thiem is able to deliver”. We have just seen this today. Can he play like this tomorrow and than every next day? Not so important. Who defeats clearly Rafa in outstanding form on clay, is the king. I think, this means more to Dominic than winning the tournament.
The tactics was “revealed” by Thiem in this interview with the comment, it’s no secret on the tour, but who can implement it, when Rafa is in such a big form?
Today Dominic delivered perfect performance in every aspect. Attacking all the way Nadal’s forehand (it’s where righties have a backhand side) with own big forehands and backhands, he disarmed Nadal’s biggest weapon – his forehand. But to hit those famous forehand winners Rafa needs to be able to hold the opponent on his backhand side. This was not possible today. Then Dominic took the risk of taking the ball earlier than Nadal does and was very often playing insider the baseline, which finally allowed him to hit lightning fast forehands and backhands with lot of spin and with sharp angles, where Rafa could not take the ball comfortably or at all.
This was 100% of what Dominic is able to deliver and which is enough to beat anyone on any surface. But not every day. Let’s be happy with him about this beautiful win and don’t blame him for losses against weaker opponents. This is Dominic. The man for big wins. 2 such matches this year so far – against Djokovic and now against Rafa. Expect more 🙂
Updated 11.05.2018, 22:40
Reaction on Madrid Open website
Fans were treated to an early final in the Mutua Madrid Open. In a rematch of the 2017 decider, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem showed the Manolo Santana Stadium why they are the kings of clay. Their strength on the slowest surface was on display in a formidable encounter, an open battle between two of the favourites to win the trophy in the Spanish capital.
The Austrian unpicked Rafael Nadal’s game to win 7-5, 6-3 and progress to the semi-finals of the Mutua Madrid Open, having come through a match the Mallorcan called ‘key’ before he took to the court. Thiem now faces South African player Kevin Anderson in search of a place in Sunday’s final.
“He is the best player of all time on clay, so it’s a very special victory”, declared Thiem. “If I played average I would have lost, so I needed some special shots“, stated the Austrian having ended the match with 27 winners, a superb haul against Nadal on the slowest surface on tour. “I connected with a lot of forehands down the line because I needed to play a really aggressive match”.
Against one of his biggest rivals on clay, Nadal was bombarded with threats. The chance to challenge the defending champion was incentive enough for Thiem, who only needed one attempt at receiving to generate his first break points. His powerful play from the baseline asked plenty of questions of Nadal, whom he overpowered during certain stages of the tie.
“Two weeks ago, I only got two games from him in Monte Carlo. If you can beat him anywhere on clay it’s here and in Rome. I went out onto the court convinced that I could win”, recognised Thiem, who took his head to head with the Spaniard to 3-6.
The end of the first set provided a perfect example of the Austrian player’s confidence. Serving to take the set (5-4), Thiem was faced with Nadal’s famous determination and he proved more than up to the challenge. The first set point slipped by in the cruellest of fashions; a powerful forehand from Thiem was out by inches, and Rafa took his chance to level the set (5-5) and get back into the match, highlighting something we already knew; Nadal only needs a glimmer of hope to bounce back. However, a superbly confident Thiem took the last two games to tip the match in his favour.
The Austrian, the last player capable of taking a set from Nadal on clay (Rome 2017), did the impossible once more to leave the Spaniard’s record of consecutive sets at 50.
In the second set, pace was never an issue for Dominic, who was determined to take the shortest route to victory at his opponent’s home tournament. Thiem watched his advantage over Nadal disintegrate (from 1-3 to 3-3) and the Austrian managed to take back the control and seal the last three games of the match to claim victory.
The win will provide a boost to the Austrian’s state of mind as his quest for a first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown continues. Twelve months after his first final in the category at the Mutua Madrid Open, Thiem is dreaming once more in the Caja Mágica.
Rafa presser after match
Defending his Caja Mágica crown proved out of reach. Rafael Nadal could find no way past Dominic Thiem, the 7-5, 6-3 victor in the quarter-finals of the Mutua Madrid Open. In a clash between the ATP World Tour’s kings of clay, the Austrian made himself a strong favourite for the cup.
“Of course I’m disappointed”, said Nadal, whose run of 12 uninterrupted victories on clay has come to an end. “I tried to come back and the story ends there. There are days when you don’t play as well as you’d like to and when that happens it’s because the opponent is playing well and I congratulate him”.
The world number 1 made a calm analysis of his defeat, in search of solutions for future challenges. “Three weeks ago I beat him in 6-0, 6-2 in Monte Carlo and today I lost. I don’t think he has my number, today was a match in which he played better than me”, stated the five-time champion.
Nadal was self-critical in his evaluation of the match and spoke about how it slipped from his grasp. “My forehand drive wasn’t good enough, when I hit my backhand onto his forehand I was hardly ever ready to get into the court”, indicated Rafa, who was punished by 27 winners from his opponent. “It’s a snowball effect and if you don’t hit your first ball well enough it’s difficult because it comes back much harder”.
The defeat to the world number 7 did not come as a complete surprise. The Austrian Thiem who also saw off the Spaniard in the quarter-finals in Rome in 2017, has produced the last two wins on clay over Nadal on tour. “I know who I’m playing against when he plays well. It’s not an easy sport, the differences are small in matches like this, when two of the top players in the world meet it is logical that whoever plays best wins”, said a Nadal who was well aware of the standard he failed to produce in the tie.
“When you’re playing well and things are straight forward, shots that are easy seem easier, and when you aren’t playing so well everything seems more difficult and today was one of those days. I didn’t play well and all the shots seemed more difficult, I never really timed the ball well”, he admitted.
After a week of intensity and hard work, the Spaniard left the Manolo Santana Stadium to a standing ovation. The affection of the Caja Mágica for their biggest champion was affirmed once again.
Two great players, friendship and respect from both sides. A bit of self-criticism from Rafa (but knowing, his own weakness was to great part result of Thiem’s perfect game), a bit of limiting of own celebration by Thiem by recognizing the conditions, better for him than for Rafa. Classy sportsmen 🙂
Updated 12.05.2018, 09:13
Moments – set 1.
(Click the image to watch the show)
Apologies, the first version was not ordered correctly, so I needed to exchange it – this one is ordered chronologically.
Updated 12.05.2018, 11:53
Moments – set 2.
(Click the image to watch the show)
Updated 12.05.2018, 13:21
Thanks from Switzerland 😉
Weil Thiem Sandkönig Nadal bodigt, Roger Federer ist wieder die Nummer 1!
Kaum zu glauben, aber wahr: Wie schon im Vorjahr bremst Dominic Thiem (Ö) den Sand-Dominator Rafael Nadal aus. Dessen Out in Madrid bedeutet: Roger Federer besteigt wieder den Tennis-Thron.
Quasi im Lehnstuhl – in den Ferien, im Afrika-Camp oder auf dem Trainingsplatz – wird Roger Federer ab nächsten Montag wieder die Weltnummer 1. Eine Bomben-Nachricht aus Schweizer Sicht, zumal uns Rafael Nadal die Hoffnungen schon fast begraben liess. Vor dieser Sandsaison schien es kaum möglich, solch eine beinahe perfekte wie letztes Jahr zu wiederholen. Vier Titel hat er zu verteidigen – bei nur 100 Punkten Vorsprung auf Federer sollte es nur eine Frage der Zeit sein, bis der Schweizer ihn wieder an der Spitze ablösen würde.
Als der Mallorquiner dann weder in Monaco, noch in Barcelona und bis in die Viertelfinals auch beim Masters 1000 in Madrid keinen einzigen Satz abgab, dabei hochkarätige Gegner wie Gael Monfils, Grigor Dimitrov, Kei Nishikori oder David Goffin gnadenlos abfertigte, wuchs der Glauben, dass er es doch noch mal kann. 14 Siege in Folge ohne Satzverlust – zusammen mit 2017 sind es 21 Siege in Serie: Nadal ist auf Sand einfach unbezwingbar, wenn er gesund ist.
Und nun kommt Dominic Thiem daher und beweist das Gegenteil! 7:5, 6:3 fegt er den Titelverteidiger mit Pauken und Trompeten aus dem Rennen. Ausgerechnet der Österreicher, der beim 0:6, 2:6 in Monte Carlo noch keinen Stich gegen den Spanier hatte. Oder besser: Wieder der Österreicher! Denn genau der hatte Nadal schon in der letzten Saison – damals in Rom – die einzige Niederlage auf Sand zugefügt.
Dass Thiem dies in Madrid gelingt, ist allerdings auch am logischsten. In der auf 700 Höhenmetern liegenden iberischen Hauptstadt, wo die Bälle etwas schneller fliegen als anderswo auf Sand, ist Nadal am verwundbarsten. Hier gewann er bislang «nur» fünfmal. Unter anderem verlor er in Madrid auch einen Final gegen Federer – eine von zwei gewonnenen Sandduellen für den Baselbieter.
Auch dieses Nadal-Out dürfte sich für den erneuten King Roger wie ein Sieg anfühlen. Die Freude könnte jedoch nur von kurzer Dauer sein. Schnappt sich Nadal nämlich nächste Woche den Turniersieg in Rom, erobert er den Tennis-Thron postwendend zurück.
Kiki just started the doubles final. Hard opponents Makarova&Vesnina. Fingers crossed 🙂
Updated 12.05.2018, 13:46
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