Nadal beats Thiem in Madrid
MADRID — Rafael Nadal defeated Dominic Thiem, 7-6 (8), 6-4, on Sunday in the Madrid Open tennis final to win his third straight title and continue his good form heading into the French Open.
Nadal withstood a tough challenge from the ninth-ranked Thiem, converting on his fourth match point to earn his 15th straight victory on clay and tie Novak Djokovic’s record of 30 career titles in Masters 1000 events.
The triumph at his home tournament gave Nadal his 72nd career title, and 52nd on clay.
It was Nadal’s second straight win against the 23-year-old Austrian, coming two weeks after the Barcelona Open final when the fifth-ranked Spaniard cruised to victory in straight sets.
Nadal also won in Monte Carlo last month.
“These last few weeks have been very special. I’m very happy for what I achieved,” Nadal said. “It means a lot to me to win at home, it’s always a special place for me.”
Nadal had easily defeated Thiem in Barcelona, losing only five games in a two-set victory, but was forced to work a lot harder on Sunday.
In an even first set, Nadal had to save two set points in the tiebreaker. The Spaniard converted his fifth set point of the match to take that tiebreaker and go one set up. Nadal broke early in the second set but was not able to pull away, and needed to save four break points in the final game before closing out the match.