Rafael Nadal became a 5-time victor of the masters in Madrid repeated the record of Novak Djokovic in the number of titles on the ATP series (30), back in the top 4 of the ATP ranking, has headed Champion race ATR and extended his winning streak on clay to 15 matches that the Spaniard had managed with 2013.
Today, Rafael Nadal won his third clay-court title of the season in Madrid and remains undefeated on the surface this year.
As for Thiem, the 23-year-old is happy with his improved performance against Nadal in his first Masters 1000 final as he feels the match was more even.
Rafael Nadal picked up his fifth Madrid Open title when edging past Dominic Thiem in straight sets on Sunday.
The first set went to a tie break in which Nadal always looked to be on top, but it was not until the fifth time of asking that he was able to win the decisive point.
After saving two match points on his own serve in the ninth game, Thiem had four chances to break back as Nadal served for the title, but the left-hander would not be denied and eventually sealed victory after two hours and 18 minutes.
"I just play every single tournament without thinking a lot of things".
The Austrian had his chance too to get right back in the match with four break back points, but couldn't take advantage as Nadal finally secured victory with his fourth match point.
"This is a very emotional period of the season", Nadal said.
Thiem, now seventh on the rankings, struck the first blow by breaking Nadal's serve to move into a 3-1 first set lead. But in December or January, I was not expecting to play badly, because I knew I was doing a very good off-season.
Nadal was broken early on by Thiem who was looking to avenge his Barcelona Open defeat to the Spaniard just 13 days ago.
The win has many implications for Nadal, who is now a tour-best 34-5 on the year. "I hope you understand and respect that". In what was billed as a must-see semi-final against Djokovic, Nadal turned the tables on the Serbian, hitting him off the court to end a seven-match losing streak against the World No. 2.
The victory is expected to boost Nadal to No. 4 in the ATP world rankings.
Nadal's movement was back to his best on Manolo Santana and the fourth seed produced some resolute defensive play when required, while his forehand proved to be a deadly weapon once again. "That's the thing in tennis: there's only one victor". If Nadal were to prevail in the Italian Open next week, he will set a new record with 31 ATP Masters 1000 titles.