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Thiem dethrones Nadal, to face Medvedev in finals

By Jacob Akindele
28 April 2019   |   3:27 am
Dominic Thiem of Austria defeated defending and 11-time champion, Rafael Nadal of Spain, 6/4 /6/4 and will face Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in the title fight. Earlier on Rafael Nadal Court....

Austria’s Dominic Thiem celebrates winning Spain’s Rafael Nadal during the ATP Tour Barcelona Open semi-final tennis match in Barcelona on April 27, 2019. Pau Barrena / AFP

Dominic Thiem of Austria defeated defending and 11-time champion, Rafael Nadal of Spain, 6/4 /6/4 and will face Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in the title fight. Earlier on Rafael Nadal Court, the Russian defeated the 2015 titlist, Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6/4; 3/6; 7/5.

Thiem broke in the sixth game to lead 4-2. Nadal won his serve for 4-3. But Thiem extended the lead by holding serve. In the ninth game, Nadal recovered from 0-15 to reach 40-15 and held to reduce tally. But the 25-year old Austrian held to take the set 6-4.

Nadal opened serving in the second set and held to lead 1-0. In the third game, Nadal was taken to deuce but held to lead 2-1. After Thiem took the fourth game on serve, Nadal fell behind 0-30 and faced two break points at 15-40, saved one but succumbed to concede the fifth game 3-2. The Austrian did not drop a point in taking the sixth game on his serve, but Nadal battled to save a break point before holding for 4-3. The Austrian saved two break points before taking the set 6-4 and dethroning the defending champion.

Dominic Thiem had met Nadal 11 previous times in their career with Nadal leading 8-3. All their encounters have been on clay, except the quarter-final match in the 2018 US Open Quarter-finals that Nishikori won 0/6; 6/4; 7/5; 6/7(4); 7/6(5). Nadal defeated the Austrian for the title in Madrid 2017 and Barcelona the same year.

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