Nadal beats Djokovic to reach Madrid final

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The top-ranked Murray was outplayed by the 20-year-old Croatian to lose his fifth match of the year.

"The truth is I was up against an opponent who, in the next five to 10 years, will be fighting for the most important titles, so I'm very happy to have won", Nadal said, as quoted on BBC. Winning is very important but also the way I'm playing at the moment makes me very relaxed. These tournaments are so strong, so it's incredible for me to go that far.

The 59th-ranked Coric became the first lucky loser to reach the quarterfinals in Madrid.

The pair stayed neck and neck until Thiem lost his nerve and made two unforced errors in a row, gifting Nadal the set. That was very obvious. Anything could have happened at the end of the first set.

But Thiem has beaten the "King of Clay" on the red surface in Argentina past year and he continued his promising form against Cuevas. If Djokovic has defeated Nadal, it might give him the edge heading into Rome and Paris, considering Rafa hasn't beaten him for three years. And in his first clay-court tournament of the year, in Monte Carlo, Djokovic was eliminated by David Goffin in the quarterfinals.

The Spaniard and four-time victor in Madrid got off to a dream start in the 50th meeting between the two great rivals, winning every point in the first game to break Djokovic, with the home crowd wildly celebrating his first point - a potent return which the Serbian could only hit into the ground.

Nadal receives 1,000 Emirates ATP Rankings points and is expected to climb to No. 4 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, surpassing Federer. Former Austria's Thomas Moster, the former World No. 1, is next on the list with 40 career titles on clay-court tournaments.

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"Now that I did it once, playing really well in such a big tournament, the next step is to maintain this level next week". In the Spanish capital, Dominique scored 4 wins, demonstrating a good game, in the semi-final the Austrian beat Uruguayan Cuevas 6: 4,6: 4.

This was a jubilar 50th encounter of this two tennis titans, and we have to mention that this is the greatest rivalry in the history of this sport, because no other players met more times than Rafa and Novak.

It was Nadals fifth title in eighth Madrid Open finals, and the first since 2014.

The world number eight missed the Barcelona Open late last month due to the injury.

Romania's Simona Halep successfully defended her Madrid Open title in the Women's Tennis Association Premier Mandatory event.

Imperious on serve, Nadal was able to dictate play from the baseline and when Thiem tried to take control the Spaniard's improving athleticism kept him in rallies. He could face Thiem in the quarter-finals.

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