Thiem breaks Nadal streak, Anderson reaches maiden Masters semi

Thiem breaks Nadal streak, Anderson reaches maiden Masters semi

Thiem breaks Nadal streak, Anderson reaches maiden Masters semi

Thiem, the runner-up to the great Spaniard in last year's Madrid final, had been the last player to defeat Nadal on clay at the Italian Open in Rome - 357 days ago.

Nevertheless the 23-year-old Edmund gave his all in what was his first Masters 1000 quarter-final, and he can expect to be rewarded with a place in the top 20 for the first time when the new rankings appear on Monday.

The fifth-seeded Austrian, who ended Nadal's 21-match winning streak on clay on Friday, needed just 85 minutes to dispose of his South African opponent.

Germany's Alexander Zverev won the battle of the young guns against Denis Shapovalov on Saturday to set up a Madrid Open final against Austria's Dominic Thiem.

The key for Zverev will no doubt be a more aggressive stance, and to prevent Thiem from controlling the rallies and dictating where to send Zverev, which he did effectively with Nadal. But it's been two years since they last played on red dirt, 2016 Roland Garros, when Thiem won in four sets.

Zverev is now the fifth active player with at least three Masters titles, along with Rafael Nadal (31), Novak Djokovic (30), Roger Federer (27) and Andy Murray (14).

Given this, and the fact that Sock has not performed well on clay for several years now, I'm surprised to see Ferrer as big as [1.91].

"He always had position to move around and to play a good shot, to strike the ball in a comfortable position", Nadal said.

That run included him surpassing John McEnroe's 1984 record of 49 sets won in succession on the same surface during his last-16 duel with Diego Schwartzman on Thursday. I don't think I faced breakpoints in the whole tournament. "So far it's been pretty good for me on clay this year", Zverev admitted.

"Obviously I didn't get broken one time (in Madrid)", Zverev said. Thiem, however, should have more confidence than anyone, having done what few thought would happen this week by beating Nadal, the five-time champion in Madrid. In addition, Thiem - despite being a heavy favourite in three of the five matches - never managed a straight-set victory.

Nadal now heads to Rome, where he has been drawn to potentially face Thiem in another quarter-final.

Dominic Thiem serves to Kevin Anderson during the semi-final match in Madrid on Saturday. The beanpole German will be seeking a third Masters title after wins in Rome and Montreal in 2017.

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