NADAL

New Straits Times - - Sport - RAFAEL NADAL

un­beaten run on clay.

The ag­gres­sive eighth seed had Nadal rat­tled from the start and broke the Spa­niard in the first and fifth games to go 5-1 up be­fore Nadal fought back to 5-4.

Thiem then broke for a 4-3 lead in the sec­ond set with suc­ces­sive back­hand and fore­hand win­ners and held on to leave Nadal serv­ing in vain to stay in the match. The Aus­trian clinched vic­tory on his first match­point as Nadal hit wide.

The Spa­niard will now fo­cus on the French Open, where he will be aim­ing for a 10th ti­tle at Roland Gar­ros.

De­spite the loss to Thiem, Nadal’s cur­rent form makes him the favourite head­ing into the sec­ond Grand Slam of the year.

“I’m very happy with how I played dur­ing these four weeks and now re­mains Roland Gar­ros,” said Nadal.

Ris­ing Ger­man star Alexan­der Zverev ear­lier reached the semi-fi­nals with a 76(4), 6-1 de­feat of World No 6 Mi­los Raonic.

Zverev, 20, will face John Is­ner for a place in the fi­nal af­ter the Amer­i­can beat Croa­t­ian Marin Cilic 7-6(3), 2-6, 7-6(2).

“It’s an­other step­ping stone in my ca­reer,” Zverev told the ATP’s web­site. “I feel like I have played very well to­day. I re­turned very well.

“So I’m happy to be in the semis and play­ing John, who I know very well from our Sad­dle­brook (Flor­ida) days. It’s go­ing to be a great match.” Reuters

I’m very happy with how I played dur­ing these four weeks and now re­mains Roland Gar­ros.

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