Rafael Nadal has certainly been living up to “King of Clay” nickname thus far in 2017, adding to his trophy collection on Sunday with a 7-6(8), 6-4 win over Austria’s Dominic Thiem to win the Mutua Madrid Open for the fifth time in his career.
“Today is a day to be satisfied, to be happy and to have this trophy,” said Nadal. “This is a very emotional period of the season. I really enjoy these tournaments. I just try to go for all of them. I try to compete. I did well in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, and also here. I hope to do the same in Rome.”
It is the 52nd clay-court title of Nadal’s career and third already this season, having won in Monte Carlo and Barcelona before claiming the Madrid title. He improves to 15-0 this year on clay.
After sneaking out the first set in a tiebreaker, Nadal broke Thiem in the second set’s opening game and never looked back. While Thiem would save three match points, Nadal closed things out on his fourth chance.
“I gave everything that I could,” said Thiem. “But it was a final of a Masters 1000, my first one, against the best player on this surface ever. Sometimes against the best players in the world, you even lose when you play well.”
Both Nadal and Thiem will now head to Rome for the Internazionali BNL d'Italia where they will each have first-round byes.