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Lajovic stuns Del Potro at Madrid Open, reaches 1st Masters 1000 quarters

13 May 2018

With AP Photos.Top-ranked Rafael Nadal has lost to Dominic Thiem 7-5, 6-3 in the Madrid Open quarterfinals.

Thiem recorded his third win over the Spanish in nine encounters and all have been on the clay court.

Thiem is the last player to defeat the 10-time Roland Garros champion on clay, achieving that feat almost one year ago at the 2017 Italian Open.

World number one Rafael Nadal on Friday suffered a shock 7-5 6-3 defeat in the hands of Austrian Dominic Thiem in the Madrid Open quarter-finals.

The loss also will knock Nadal out of the top spot in the world rankings, although perhaps not for long. "I was not under control of the point [for most of] the match", Nadal said.

Following this match, Alexander Zverev is a heavy [1.25] favourite to make the final, as he faces Denis Shapovalov, who got the better of Kyle Edmund in three sets yesterday. Because that might be what Nadal is on clay right now.

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Based on current form, however, there was no way it would happen again on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Mutua Madrid Open.

"It's one of the most hard things in the sport to do that but on a good day for some players, I think it's possible", Thiem said of beating the King of Clay on clay. "It's so special, amazing, in his home country and in his living room in Madrid". I think it's just been a match that he was better than me, same as a few weeks ago I was better than him. At the beginning of the match, I did not have much success.

Thiem will take on South African big man Kevin Anderson who finally broke his duck and made his first Masters semifinal.

In Nadal's win over Diego Schwartzman on Wednesday, he broke John McEnroe's record of 49 straight sets won on one surface.

He was right to be anxious.

Nadal had to save two break points in the first set, but Thiem was quick to latch on the vulnerability that emerged in the seventh game. He saved the first break point, but then tried to hit a risky forehand that sailed long, allowing Nadal to level the set at 3-3. The King of clay wasn't dropping sets let alone matches, and Thiem had no trouble with his serve and cruised rather easily.

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Early in the second set, Nadal was in trouble again.

Roger Federer will replace the Spaniard at the top of the world ranking following his performance in Madrid.

'Like this I should go in every match against him.

Pliskova is now the highest seeded player left in the women's tournament after both No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki and third-seeded Garbine Muguruza lost Wednesday. I'm not going to keep the No. 1 today. We're not talking about something that you have maybe some more margin.

Bertens, from the Netherlands, will be seeking her sixth career title and her second of 2018.

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Lajovic stuns Del Potro at Madrid Open, reaches 1st Masters 1000 quarters