Saturday, 21 July, 2018

Djokovic upbeat despite yet another setback in Madrid

Murray frustrated by limp display in Coric loss Borna Coric stunned Andy Murray 6-3 6-3 in Madrid on Thursday and the world number one was disappointed by his
Kristopher Love | 19 May, 2017, 02:46

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 overpowered Djokovic from the start, and converted on his third match point to earn his first victory against the second-ranked Serb since the 2014 French Open final.

He saved three match-points before Nadal's sliced backhand down the line beat him, prompting the partisan crowd to roar in unison as they celebrated the 'King of Clay's latest triumph.

Nadal is now on an unbeaten run of 14 matches and is looking to win his fifth title here at Madrid while Thiem is looking to win his second title of the year. "To win against Novak by that score, you have to be playing very well, otherwise it's impossible". Having already dispatched Lukas Lacko in the first qualifying round, the
British No 3 displayed early nerves in dropping his opening service game against Olivo.However, four games in succession helped Bedene secure the opening set before a decisive break in game five of the second sealed a 6-3, 6-4 victory in one hour and 36 minutes.

Not to mention the smackdown Nadal gave Djokovic yesterday, beating him 6-2, 6-4 in a match where Nadal dictated play the entire time.

Thiem, who won the Rio de Janeiro title in February, lost the Barcelona Open final to Nadal last month.

Nadal was forced to save a break point with a drop shot Djokovic couldn't get back over the net and when he then fired long with a volley, Nadal sank to his knees in celebration. If I'm at my best and he's at his best on clay, he's probably the better player. "I'm on the right track", added Nadal. This marked his 30th Masters 1000 title in Madrid and proved to the doubters that his career is not over.

"I tried my best".

"Since the beginning, I was playing with a lot of pressure".

The audience appeared to sense Thiem's defiance was waning, but the player wasn't as content with his fate and rallied to fend off two match points, tying at deuce before landing a final game blow to pull within a game at 5-4 down. The champions have claimed 60 of the past 65 Masters 1000 crowns, dating back to 2010 Monte-Carlo. Anything could have happened at the end of the first set.

Nadal's superiority, on top of Federer's three titles in the 2017's biggest hard-court events to date, supports the curious impression that men's tennis is stuck in a 10-year timewarp. "I hope you understand and respect that". 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.