A comfortable second set followed, with Thiem breaking twice without offering any break-point opportunities to wrap up the win in one hour and 27 minutes. As a result of Nadal " s defeat, Roger Federer, who is sitting out the clay-court season, will return to world number one on Monday, but Nadal could regain top spot with a win in Rome.
Rafael Nadal suffered his first clay-court defeat in nearly a year when the world No 1 was shocked 7-5, 6-3 by Austria's Dominic Thiem in the Madrid Masters quarter-finals on Friday. "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 we were talking about the ranking of one year, if I played really good in one period of the year, which I've done, let's be clear, I have been playing really good recently. Some days you don't play as well as you'd like to play. "Also when that happens it's because your opponent is doing really well".
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Nadal entered the affair having won 21 straight matches on clay with 50 sets in a row.
Nadal had not dropped a set on clay since his reverse against Thiem at the Internazionali d'Italia last May. But Thiem, who beat Nadal in Rome a year ago, was able to stick around in the first then capitalized on two Nadal doubles faults to take the set lead.
"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.
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None of these were on clay, but they all were played at venues which I would not grade as playing particularly slow, and certainly Madrid falls into this category as well, being the quickest clay court on the ATP Tour. Previous year I made it to the finals in every single tournament. "So I can't go back to the hotel and think that I have to do a lot of things different to prepare the next events because [that] will not be something that will be very smart".
World No.8 Kevin Anderson battled into his first Master's semi-final with a 7-6 (7/3), 3-6, 6-3 win over Serbian qualifier Dusan Lajovic.
The 19-year-old overcame Kyle Edmund, who sprung a second-round shock on Novak Djokovic, 7-5 6-7 (6-8) 6-4.
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We can not change the past. "What we can do is learn from it, and try to make it right", Lack said. Many staffers told THR that they were not satisfied with NBC conducting its own investigation.
Sharapova also lost in three sets to Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands while Halep, the champion in 2016 and 2017, was blown away by Karolina Pliskova.