Madrid Open: Thiem ends Nadal's unbeaten run

Rafa Nadal could smash a 34-year-old tennis record at the Madrid Open this week

Coincidentally, Nadal's last defeat on the surface had come to Thiem when the Spaniard had lost at the Rome Open quarterfinals one year ago.

"I won 50 straight sets on this surface", he said.

"You can not be number one when you've been not playing for five months", he said.

"The most unsafe opponent is the one you have to face the next day".

The 21-year-old third seed was clinical as he trounced erratic Canadian Shapovalov, two years his junior, 6-4 6-1 in less than an hour on centre court. "He was better than me today". He is likely to face Thiem again in the quarter-final of the final ATP Masters 1000 tournament on the red dirt, starting May 14. "Now I'm in the finals again, which is fantastic for me". It doesn't mean that I'm done. I'm not even thinking about that. After that, things we can not see in the future.

"She played very well, she used the high ball very well", said Garcia, of Bertens. "He played well and I didn't play well". While there are four different channel packages to choose from, the Tennis Channel is included in the "Just Right", "Go Big" and "Gotta Have It" bundles. "The differences are very small", he added. Nadal will be looking to revenge his loss in next week's Italian Open and further clinch back the number 1 spot from Roger Federer. But Thiem, who beat Nadal in Rome past year, was able to stick around in the first then capitalized on two Nadal doubles faults to take the set lead. Schwartzman broke back, but two straight double-faults gave Nadal a third break en route to the win.

The Austrian wrapped the first set with 7-5 and was up 3-1 in the second before the top seed caught up with him.

Thiem held his nerves to win the first set and then, came back stronger in the second set.

Lajovic moved on to meet sixth-seeded Kevin Anderson, who eliminated Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 7-6 (7). "I was not under control of the point [for most of] the match", Nadal said.

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Nadal brushed aside Thiem 6-0, 6-2 just three weeks ago at Monte Carlo, where the Austrian was returning after being sidelined for a month due to a broken foot.

"I'm not taking anything away from him".

Pliskova's 6-4, 6-3 win sets up a semi-final showdown with two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, who saw off Russia's Daria Kasatkina.

But that incredible run was ended as the 31-year-old surrendered the opener and Thiem delivered a nerveless second-set showing to triumph in style. He also beat Thiem in the final here at Caja Magica a year ago, though that was a bit more hard at 7-6 (8), 6-4.

Shapovalov, 19, ranked at 43 in the world, fired 29 winners past Edmund, a surprise semi-finalist at the Australian Open in January.

epa06728649 Austria's Dominic Thiem (R) is congratulated by Rafael Nadal (L) of Spain after winning their quarter final match of the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament at Caja Magica in Madrid, Spain, 11 May 2018.

'You can not be No. 1 five months without competing, ' he said after the 5-7 3-6 loss to the fifth seed.

Bertens had already stunned world No 2 Caroline Wozniacki and five-time grand slam champion Maria Sharapova earlier in the week.

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