Nadal to lose world number one ranking; Thiem enters final

Nadal to lose world number one ranking; Thiem enters final
Rafael Nadal lost to Austrian Dominic Thiem at the Madrid Open

Madrid - Nadal's exit means Roger Federer will reclaim the number one spot when the revised ATP rankings are released on Monday



By Reuters

Published: Sat 12 May 2018, 11:13 PM

Last updated: Sun 13 May 2018, 1:18 AM

Claycourt king Rafael Nadal has played down the significance of his quarterfinal defeat by Austrian Dominic Thiem at the Madrid Open - a loss that ended a year-long winning streak on clay and cost him the world number one ranking.
Nadal's exit means Roger Federer will reclaim the number one spot when the revised ATP rankings are released on Monday.
The 31-year-old Spaniard looked unstoppable going into his Friday clash with fifth seed Thiem, having won 50 consecutive sets on the red dirt, but he was well beaten 7-5 6-3. Coincidentally, it was Thiem who last beat Nadal on clay, at last year's Rome Masters, shortly before the Spaniard rampaged to a 10th French Open title without dropping a set. However, Nadal quickly slapped down any notion that world number seven Thiem knows the secret of beating the greatest ever exponent of claycourt tennis.
"Well, three weeks ago I beat him 6-0 6-3. I don't know if that's a tough player or not. I don't think it's that way," Nadal, who also beat Thiem en route to the Roland Garros title last year, told reporters.
"I think it has just been a match where he was better than me, same as a few weeks ago I was better than him.
"If he beats me three times in a row, maybe we can say he reads my game and can beat me."
 
Thiem beat Kevin Anderson for the first time at the seventh attempt to reach the final for the second successive year on Saturday.
The fifth seed won 6-4 6-2 as he continued the scintillating form that ended top seed Rafa Nadal's year-long unbeaten run on clay the day before.
He will play either Alexander Zverev or Canadian Denis Shapovalov in Sunday's final.
In the women's final, Kiki Bertens was to face Petra Kvitova on Saturday night. Bertens beat Caroline Garcia 6-2 6-2y, while Kvitova defeated Karolina Pliskova 7-6(4) 6-3.
 


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