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Itís Over: Dominic Thiem Snaps World Number One Rafael Nadalís 21 Clay Court Match Win Streak
By Ken Miller, Lawn Tennis Analyst, Posted: Saturday, May 12, 2018 3:02am PST USA
Itís Over: Dominic Thiem Snaps World Number One Rafael Nadalís 21 Clay Court Match Win Streak MADRID-- Friday in the quarterfinal play in Madrid, Spain at the Mutua Madrid Open, the world number one Rafael Nadal of Spain had his 21 clay court match win streak snapped as he lost to the 5th seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria 7-5, 6-3.

Nadal, a ten time Roland Garros champion, had not lost a clay court match since May 17th of last year when he lost in Rome also to Thiem.

The Spaniard, known as the king of clay, before Friday had also won 50 consecutive sets on clay, an open era record of most

Rafael Nadal of Spain
Lawn Tennis
Thiem struck a stunning down the line backhand winner to reach matchpoint.

consecutive sets won on any surface.

However Thiem showcased aggressive groundstrokes and volleys to take control of the encounter almost from the start of the match.

With Nadal serving at 3 all breakpoint in set one, Thiem won a 19 shot groundstroke rally after hitting powerful groundstrokes which forced a netted crosscourt forehand from Nadal and a 4-3 lead for Thiem..

Then serving for the set at 5-4 40-30 with a set point, Thiem struck a down the line forehand long before double faulting and hitting a crosscourt forehand long to drop serve.

Serving at 5 all, Nadal struck several uncharacteristic unforced errors including a netted overhead and a backhand down the line which landed wide to trail 15-40.

Nadal then netted a crosscourt forehand to lose serve and trail 5-6.

Serving for set one for the second time, Thiem struck a down the line forehand winner before hitting a crosscourt forehand volley winner in a serve and volley play to set up a second set point at 40-30.

The Austrian finished the set with an ace out wide and a fist pump as Nadal dropped his first clay court set in 51 sets.

In set two, Thiem took a 3-1 lead before Nadal took the following two games to level the set at 3 all.

However; more aggressive baseline tennis from Thiem sent him ahead once again 4-3 after a break of serve.

Thiem would then hold serve at love to lead 5-3.

Serving to stay in the match, Nadal led 40-0 before striking a crosscourt forehand long to reach 40-15.

The Spaniard then committed two backhand errors to reach deuce.

Thiem then struck a stunning down the line backhand winner to reach matchpoint.

A Thiem crosscourt backhand return landed long to set up a second deuce.

A final error from Nadal, a netted crosscourt backhand, sent Thiem ahead for a second match point.

The Austrian made no mistake as he struck a clutch inside out crosscourt forehand winner to break serve and close out the quarterfinal in straight sets after one hour and 56 minutes of play.

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