Fourth seed Rafael Nadal will eye a fifth crown at Madrid Open when he takes on eighth seed Dominic Thiem in the Men's singles final on Sunday.
The four-time champion made light work of defending champion Novak Djokovic (6-2, 6-4) in what was a highly-anticipated semi-final tie yesterday. Nadal looked in complete control and went on to end his three-match losing streak on the red dirt to the Serb.
On the other hand, Thiem gave himself an opportunity to avenge his defeat in the final of Barcelona Open to Nadal when he outclassed Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas in straight sets in his last-four match yesterday.
Having won Monte Carlo and Barcelona, Nadal is well-placed to add Madrid to what is becoming an impressive trophy collection this season. The 14-time Grand Slam winner should be heading into the match high on confidence as he had beaten Thiem 6-4, 6-1 in the final of Barcelona only last month, which was also his third win over the world number nine in four meetings on clay.
Thiem, on the other hand, has also been quite impressive on the dirt this season, winning Rio de Janeiro title in February and reaching the final in Barcelona, decimating Andy Murray enroute. However, he was blown away in the title match by Nadal, who went on to capture his 10th Barcelona crown.
The Austrian faces another uphill task, but he should take confidence from his win last over Nadal in Buenos Aires semi-final. Thiem saved five match points to get past Grigor Dimitrov in R16 match last week and some of that fighting spirit will come in handy when he steps on the court in an attempt to win his maiden Masters 1000 final today.
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