Dominic Thiem defeated ‘King of Clay’ Rafa Nadal in Italian Open

Dominic Thiem gained revenge after back-to-back final defeats with a stunning 6-4 6-3 win over seven-time Internazionali BNL d’Italia champion Rafael Nadal.

“I came in with a very aggressive game style, because I knew that if I wanted to have a chance, then I would have to do something different and be more aggressive,” said Thiem.

“I knew that if it goes in, everything, maybe I have a chance. If not, maybe I also lose easy. But today was one of these days where I really felt the ball great on the racquet, and a lot of risky shots went in.

Dominic Thiem got off to a sensational start, with his depth of shot troubling Nadal and not giving him any chance in baseline rallies. With great baseline shots on both of the wings, Thiem broke Nadal in the first and fifth games. Although Rafa regained one serve back, Thiem wrapped up the 1st set.

Thiem’s aggressive game style matched with his ability to take shots early paid him the dividends. He started hitting the backhand like a sledge hammer which earned him a break of serve in the 8th game of 2nd set. With Nadal serving at 3-5, Thiem won four straight points and clinched his first match point when his opponent mis-hit a forehand wide. It was Thiem’s second victory in six meetings against Nadal, adding to his 2016 Argentina Open semi-final win.

“It was a very, very good performance and I think probably one of my best matches.”

“It’s a very tough situation in tennis. I mean, you have a big win, and the next day there is Djokovic or Del Potro waiting. It remains very, very difficult. But they are both unbelievable, big players. I think it’s going to be a tough match between them today. Whoever wins, I have to take on tomorrow.”

Thiem will either face Novak Djokovic or Juan Martin Delpotro tomorrow.



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