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Austrian tennis hottie Dominic Thiem beats Rafael Nadal on clay; Roger Federer to reclaim top ranking

I’ve thought of Dominic Thiem as one of the younger players who has a real chance at winning a French Open or Wimbledon.

But until today, his 2018 season has been a series of disappointments.

Thiem upset top-ranked Rafael Nadal 7-5, 6-3, in the Madrid Open quarterfinals, breaking the defending champion’s run of 21 consecutive wins on clay courts.

Nadal had not lost a single set on clay since falling to Thiem at the Rome Open quarterfinals one year ago.

Since that loss, Nadal had been impeccable on his preferred surface. He had won the French Open and the hardcourt United States Open to take his Grand Slam haul to 16, and he came to the Spanish capital fresh off winning his 11th titles at both Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

But Thiem beat Nadal at his own game, finishing long rallies with winners and avoiding the costly hitting errors that sank Nadal’s title defense.

Because of the loss, Nadal will slip to number two in the ATP rankings and Roger Federer, who has not played since March, will become number one again for the 309th week of his career.



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