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Rafael Nadal beats Novak Djokovic in straight sets to reach Madrid final

14 May 2017

Nadal ended his seven-match winless streak against Novak Djokovic with a 6-2, 6-4 win that put him in the Madrid Open final again on Saturday.

Djokovic had beaten Nadal in seven consecutive meetings, and the last time he dropped a set against Nadal was in the 2014 French Open final.

Nadal is now on an unbeaten run of 14 matches and is looking to win his fifth title here at Madrid while Thiem is looking to win his second title of the year.

The four-time Madrid champion will play the title game against ninth-ranked Dominic Thiem of Austria, who ousted Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 6-4, 6-4. Nadal goes for his 4th Madrid title while Thiem, who saved five MPs against Dimitrov earlier in the week, eyes the biggest win of his career in his first Masters final. "Hopefully I'll have another good result in Rome". I had not had that feeling for a long time so it's been a positive week'.

The 14-time Grand Slam champion had a slice of fortune as a let cord and a Kyrgios double fault handed him the two breaks he needed to take the first set.

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Peter Bodo has been covering tennis for over 35 years, mostly recently for ESPN. "I will try to improve the things I didn't do that good in Barcelona and then we will see what happens", Thiem said.

"What's important to me is to make it to another final", said Nadal.

"I didn't help myself find a way into the match to start playing better", said Murray. Previous year he was 31-2 after winning the title in Madrid, which was his fifth of the season at the time.

Nadal came out with the bit between his teeth, breaking to love in the first game of the match under blue skies and pumping his fist after breaking a startled Djokovic for a second time with a fierce forehand victor.

"It was an important match for me".

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But Thiem has beaten the "King of Clay" on the red surface in Argentina a year ago and he continued his promising form against Cuevas.

Nadal maintained his momentum by winning the first two games of the second set, but Djokovic sprung into life and levelled at 2-2 when the Mallorca native netted a backhand after being given the runaround.

"It was a lovely game, we both played at the very highest level and there were great points for everyone to see", Nadal told Spanish Television. Just his quality was very high.

Nadal faltered just once, and you could nearly put that down to disbelief he could beat Djokovic so handily. I made a lot of unforced errors, especially in the first set, said Djokovic, "I felt like I was playing well throughout the week".

Djokovic didn't have to play the quarterfinal in Madrid because Kei Nishikori withdrew before the match because of a wrist injury. "You need to kind of hold your nerve, hold your concentration and use all the necessary energy at the right moments". And this 50th meeting was, of course, to be played both on clay and in front of an adoring Spanish Caja Magica. But, again, I just had an opponent that was too good.

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Rafael Nadal beats Novak Djokovic in straight sets to reach Madrid final