Nadal Overpowers Thiem To Win Fifth Madrid Title

Madrid Open 2017: Takeaways from Day 3 and Day 4

The Spaniard is now 15-0 on his favored surface this year having also picked up his 10th titles in Monte Carlo and Barcelona in recent weeks.

Rafael Nadal continued his clay-court dominance by dispatching Austrian Dominic Thiem in straight sets on Sunday to win the Madrid Open.

The 30-year-old Nadal won his fifth Mutua Madrid Open title and his record-tying 30th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown, matching World No. 2 Novak Djokovic for the all-time lead. "Sometimes against the best players in the world, you even lose when you play well".

Thiem is still in the early stages of what promises to be a superb career and the Austrian held sway early on, unleashing a string of punishing ground strokes to break the Nadal serve.

Imperious on serve, Nadal was able to dictate play from the baseline and when Thiem tried to take control the Spaniard's improving athleticism kept him in rallies.

Djokovic is now in Nadal's sights in the ATP rankings, this win putting him in sight of the world number two - who he beat in Saturday's semi-final. "After that I went for it".

"Anything could have happened at the end of the first set, but I think I played well the important points at the end", Nadal said.

The young gun built a promising foundation in Sunday's final and forced Nadal to a tiebreak in the first set before losing stamina in the second and struggling to keep pace with the king of clay from that point on.

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"I think it was a good fight out there", Thiem said after the match.

Talking about the match he said: "I think it was a tough match since the beginning, especially here in altitude, which is hard to make breaks against a player like Thiem". "Let's respect his level right now because it's true that perhaps it's not as high as it used to be, but I'm telling you, it's been a lot of years, and I know because I've been in his skin, being up there every single week, being No. 1 every single week, it's nearly impossible".

Thiem, on the other hand, has also been quite impressive on the dirt this season, winning Rio de Janeiro title in February and reaching the final in Barcelona, decimating Andy Murray enroute.

"This is a very emotional period of the season", Nadal told reporters.

The four-time champion made light work of defending champion Novak Djokovic (6-2, 6-4) in what was a highly-anticipated semi-final tie yesterday.

"The truth is I was up against an opponent who, in the next five to 10 years, will be fighting for the most important titles, so I'm very happy to have won. Hopefully, I'll have another good result in Rome".

Nadal also won in Monte Carlo last month.

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