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Nadal breezes into last 16 in Madrid, but some other seeds fall

14 May 2018
Nadal breezes into last 16 in Madrid, but some other seeds fall

Rafael Nadal's record-breaking run of 50 successive sets won on the same surface was brought to an end Friday at the Madrid Open by Dominic Thiem, the last man to defeat him on clay.

If Thiem could string together performances like this with the same kind of consistency that Nadal has shown over many years, it might be the Austrian primed to move into the world number one spot.

Nadal has twice gotten his revenge since Thiem's triumph past year, disposing of the young Austrian in straight sets at the 2017 French Open (6-3, 6-4, 6-0) and the Monte Carlo Masters (6-0, 6-2) a few weeks ago.

Showcasing arguably his best tennis of the season thus far, the 24-year-old was dictating play from the start, and wrapped up the win in just under two hours to set up a semi-final against Kevin Anderson. But Edmund could not hold off his 19-year-old opponent who broke early in the third and served well to triumph 7-5, 6-7, 6-4. 'Of course, this is the ATP ranking.

"I must be honest, I think I did a good job then because I didn't really think of it too much of my 0-10 record in Masters 1000 quarterfinals", said Anderson afterwards. "Now I'm in the finals again, which is wonderful for me". "Mentally it was very hard because I know how tough it is to break her". I don't think it's that way.

"I lost the No. 1 before, but what makes me happy is I feel fit, can compete with possibilities every single week", Nadal said.

"I really wanted to break through and be in the semi-finals", he said. I am No. 3 in the race of the year, which is the most important thing.

Pliskova is now the highest seeded player left in the women's tournament after both No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki and third-seeded Garbine Muguruza lost Wednesday. Thiem did the impossible by snapping Nadal's insane clay streak, as he won 48 percent of his return points and gave himself 12 break chances. "It was a mini goal accomplished for me today".

The opening eight games went with serve with Shapovalov producing some trademark backhands winners from his single-hander, including one audacious topspin lob.

Kvitova outlasted Bertens 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-3 in a grueling final decided when the unseeded Dutch player hit a backhand long on the final point after almost three hours. "It was great to get those wins against those players", said Sharapova, the 2014 champion in Madrid.