Published: Mon, May 13, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Rafael Nadal stunned at Madrid Open

Rafael Nadal stunned at Madrid Open

Serbia's Novak Djokovic kisses the trophy as he celebrates winning the final of the Madrid Open tennis tournament in two sets, 6-3, 6-4, against Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas, left down corner, in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, May 12, 2019.

Thiem came again early in the second and broke in the sixth game, only to fail again to consolidate, Djokovic responding immediately for 3-3.

Djokovic and Tsitsipas had played once before, past year in Toronto when the youngster grabbed a 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 win en route to his first Masters 1000 final that he lost to Nadal, hoping for a different outcome today despite never facing Novak on clay before.

Rafael Nadal has suggested he could walk away from tennis if he feels he can no longer play at a "high level", although the world No 2 remains confident he can win more titles.

The 20-year-old Tsitsipas converted on his fourth match point to close out the victory against the second-ranked Nadal on the Magic Box centre court.

Thiem got off to a good start by breaking Djokovic in the third game of the match, but the Serb quickly got back on serve and then cruised in the opening tiebreaker, dropping only two points.

It will be the second final of the season for Djokovic, who began the year by winning the Australian Open.

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Djokovic had struggled after winning the Australian Open, with his best result since then having been a quarterfinal appearance in Monte Carlo at the start of the clay-court season.

"I'd like to thank my team, my brother Marko, who has the role of the coach this tournament", said the 31-year-old.

"I think that today was an important match in that way and tomorrow it's another great opportunity to keep improving my feelings".

Djokovic proved too good in both tie-breaks against Thiem but offered the shot of the match at 4-4 in the first set.

Djokovic, victor in Madrid in 2011 and 2016, was fully rested after his quarter-final opponent Marin Cilic had withdrawn because of food poisoning, while Thiem had to dig deep to beat Roger Federer in a gruelling three-setter.

Now Nadal heads to Rome for the Italian Open - where he is the defending and eight-time champion - aiming to win his first clay title before attempting to defend his Roland Garros crown.

Thiem ran Djokovic close enough to suggest he will also be a serious contender again in Paris, where the Austrian was runner-up to Nadal past year. I trained around 5 pm & it was very hot but it was more windy, colder.

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