PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal defeats Dominic Thiem for fifth Madrid title

Rafael Nadal clinched his 72nd  career title when he beat Austrian Dominic Thiem 7-6(8), 6-4 in the Madrid Open final on Sunday. It was his 52nd career title on his favored surface. 

With Ronaldo, Javi Fernandez and Carolina Marin watching on, Rafa claimed a record-equalling 30th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown.

Rafa edged Thiem in the tie-break of a tense first set that lasted one hour and 18 minutes. He broke the Austrian early in the second set to set up the win.

Rafa will be confirmed as the new world number four, replacing 18-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, when the new rankings come out on Monday.

Our champ became the first player to win five Madrid titles, adding to his victories in 2005 (d. Ljubicic), 2010 (d. Federer), 2013 (d. Wawrinka) and 2014 (d. Nishikori). It is his third ATP trophy of the season, having triumphed in Monte-Carlo and Barcelona.

49 comments

  1. Great win, hard fought victory. Alongside Rafa, Thiem looks like a candidate to win RG this year. Rafa clearly has good cards, but it’s not a given, margins are small as today showed.

    • I doubt it very much. Rafa will trounce him even worse in best out of five.

      RAFA ROCKS

  2. AWESOME! The king reigns victorious! Congratulations Rafa on winning such a close, hard fought match.🏆🏆🏆. Respect also to Thiem who was relentless and gave everything. I’m sure he’ll get that title one day. Get some rest Rafa (even though it will be short) then beat ’em in Rome and RG!!!

  3. OLA OLA OLA….OLA OLA OLA……..OLA OLA OLA & VAMOS DEAR RAFA SWEETHEART !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) YEH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) YOU DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VERY VERY VERY HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) YOU ARE OUR MUCH LOVED KING OF CLAY KODOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) BRILLIANT IN EVERY ASPECT OF THE GAME : …….STRIDING……… & ……….STRIKING………….. & …….MOVING FASTER THAN THE EYE CAN CAPTURE WITH YOUR STRONG PRECIOUS SPEEDY FEET & CREATIVE ON THE RUN RACKET STROKES………………… & there is more……………..&……… BRILLIANT EFFECTIVE SERVING ……..& ………..COMMANDING YOUR HOME LAND CLAY SURFACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) ci……ci…..ci…..ci…..ci….& TRIPLE CAPITAL CI !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) CONGRATULATIONS CHAMPION RAFA NADAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) 🙂 : ) : ) : ) : ) VAMOS ON YOUR BEAUTIFUL STRIKING CHAMPIONSHIP VICTORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) WE LOVE YOU & WE ADORE YOUR CLASSY BEAUTIFUL FIESTY TENNIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) AS I WAS WATCHING I REALIZE THAT YOU ARE OUR CLASSY ON – THE- RUN BRILLIANT SHOT MAKING HERO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) ; ) : ) : ) WOW……there was so much beautify and finesse and ACES…….& ABSOLUTELY STUNNING WINNING RETURNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) ; ) : ) : ) ; ) : ) GOD BLESS YOU SWEETHEART FOR ALL THE GOODNESS YOU BRING TO TENNIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) I LOVED HOW YOU BEAUTIFULLY LEAD 2 : 0 in the 2nd SET and truthfully, even a 2: 1 at a beginning of each set would be great……but made us all happy to see you pile up the great returns and the wise serve games and the timely ACES……so CONGRATULATIONS HERO RAFA ON EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) ; ) : ) : ) ENJOY EVERYTHING SWEETHEART & HAVE A GREAT NIGHT WITH YOUR LOVED FAMILY, FRIENDS & THE TEAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) ; ) ; ) ; ) GO RAFA GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) ; ) ; ) ; ) This was a fantastic championship match and we are thrilled for you sweetheart!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) ; ) ; ) ; ) ; ) ; ) Have lots of fun and celebrate with your loved ones!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) ; ) ; ) ; ) ; ) Good night sweetheart & sweet dreams !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) ; ) ; ) ; ) ; ) ; ) Lots of love & happiness & VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : )
    ps: YOUR NET COVERAGE IS GENIUS & SO ARE YOUR TIE BREAKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) ; ) ; ) ; ) : ) WE LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!: ) : ) ; ) ; ) : ) ; ) have a great break between tours & VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : )

  4. COMGRATULATIONS AGAIN to you Rafa. Very sweet win.

    So you did end up giving your mom a belated surprise present for Mother’s Day. How happy and proud of her hijo she must be.

    You are AMAZING.

    AMAZING RAFA ROCKS

  5. Congratulations Rafa my boy. King of Clay. We are so proud of you. Vamos, Vamos, Vamos Rafael. God bless you. Your Aussie Abuela Nan Shirley. 🐂⏳👑💥💥💥🎈🎈🎈😊😀😇

  6. I am chastising myself ( ” Oh, ye of little faith. ” ).
    Although originally I had hopes of Rafa winning, as time drew near to the start of the match I was preparing myself for a loss. I felt that Rafa would be both emotionally and physically drained after his win against Djokovic yesterday and would have felt that he had already played in the final because of the significance of that match.
    I expected a kind of “let down ” from him today .But that was just my way of thinking, not Rafa’s.
    I should have known that so long as there was another match to play, he would give it his all.
    A thousand congratulations to him for to-day.
    Now on to Rome.where I hope he will play to conserve his strength rather than to win there. He needs to be fully fit for Roland Garros . He, and his team, know that is the main goal . To go home to Mallorca might be a better plan and forget about Rome for this year.
    However, the decision is Rafa’s and his team’s. They are the experts. Whatever they decide I am sure will be thought about very carefully.

  7. Glorious Trifecta from Monte Carlo – Barcelona – Madrid ! Keep steamrolling … roaring and stronger onwards to Roland Garros ! @

  8. congratulations rafa you done it. but i could see you were very nervous in the last game. I understand that you were playing in front of your own home crowd.
    For the rest i thought thiem played a very good final and he should be proud of himself. I can see thiem winning a grandslam title earlier then zverev and krygios. he is a young talented and very likeable player. I have huge sympathy for him. Maybe rafa can do him a favour by skipping rome and give thiem a chance to win his first masters serie title (hahahah nadal is not like that)

    My advice to rafa listen very good to your body and consult with your team wheter it is a good idea to play rome. You have been playing a lot lately and it should be all about winning la decima in paris

    • YOur advice to Nadal????????????????????????

      LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • What is so funny about a fan saying to Rafa, “listen to your body,” something Rafa is notorious for NOT doing? And about “advising” Rafa to heed the advice of his team?

        Rafalite, why go out of your way to be mean? Please don’t start where the other 2 or 3 have left off.

        Simply my take on mjus’ comment.

        RAFA ROCKS

    • @va4favre Spot on about mjus’s “listen to your body,” comment. I can’t count the times I have agonized over Rafa’s having competed while injured.

      Until proven wrong, I trust Moyà’s words about him being adamant that Rafa not play if there is even a hint of injury. That was one of the stipulations Rafa agreed to before Moya would accept his position on Rafa’s team.

      Another stipulation covered Rafa’s nutrition. As we all know, it is unbelievable what the human body can accomplish with the proper nutrition.

      I too was/am worried about Rafa exerting himself and was calling for him to skip Rome so as to rest just before RG. I was then swayed to hope he play Rome but skip Madrid because Madrid was felt not to be his better tournament. Well, he made a jerk out of me. LOL. ANOTHER MADRID TITLE. HIS 5TH!

      Rafa prefers the best-out-of-five format. These best out of three would surely tire him but maybe not to the extent we believe. Only Rafa would know and I can’t ask him. I just want him fit, fresh, and full of his “vamos” for RG.

      RAFA ROCKS

      • Advice to Rafa from a Fan is ridiculous. Who knows better than Rafa how to manage his body? What do people here know about managing an elite athlete’s body? The same for telling Rafa how to play! From people who have never even held a racquet in their hands, let alone accomplished anything in the game. And it’s patronizing and just insulting.

        If someone says
        I’m worried about Rafa playing too much and getting injured–that’s completely fine and understandable. Giving advice to the greatest clay player of all time, and one of the game’s alltime greats is ridiculous.

      • Also, I’m not being mean. Mean is telling Rafa he should retire if he can’t win the FO–a remark I saw here and also called ridiculous. Identifying patronizing remarks is not mean, unless you’re someone who beleives people should always keep their mouths shut about everything.

        And further, telling Rafa to “heed the advice of his team?” How would posters here know the advice of Rafa’s team.
        Again, patronizing and ridiculous.

      • Again, I thought your response to mjus was rude. And I didn’t find her/his comment patronizing.

  9. What a match, what a fight, what a great present Rafa has given to his mom and all his “mom” fans! Thank you, Rafa! With love, respect, and gratitude.

    Thiem, proud of you too for putting up such a great fight. Your time will come when Rafa decides to hang up his racket.

    Congratulations to Rafa, his team, his family, and all
    his fans!

  10. Please tennis channel!!! We don’t want to hear your post-game gab. We watched it. We want to see them award ceremony!!! Will all those who agree please respond.

    • Betty I watch on sky from the UK and they always show every award ceremony. If they didn’t as your channel apparently does not i would be miffed so yes I agree.

    • Can’t agree with you more, Betty. It’s very frustrating not to be able to see the ceremony, even if I don’t understand a word of what they’ll be saying. Just to see and feel the joy of Rafa and the fans is precious!

      • Hi YB. Dominic spoke in English throughout and rafa spoke to dominic and his team in English and then spoke Spanish. I am sure you can YouTube it as someone somewhere will have posted it. I didn’t realise that some channels around the world aren’t showing the ceremony. It could be to do with TV rights etc but whatever the reason I understand your frustrations

  11. My Main Man , The King of Clay
    Your simply amazing !
    Congratulations
    Rafa on your match and your
    5th Madrid Championship !
    🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
    👑👑👑👑👑
    💜💚💜💚💜
    😍😍😍😍😍
    😉😉😉😉😉
    😗😗😗😗😗
    #teamrafa #rafaaddict
    #rafafanatic #simplyrafa
    #loveyourafa #kingofclay
    #vamosrafa #crazyforrafa
    Congratulations Rafa !

  12. Fantastic match! Best clay match this year I think.
    Thiem fought all the way to the end. He played at such a high level in the 1rst set, I knew if Rafa took the TB THiem would not be able to duplicate that level 2nd set.
    Rafa played so smart, and withstood Thiem’s power and spin, which–beleive it or not–is greater than Rafa’s. Yes, I saw the spin rate, I already knew he hit harder.

    All that’s left for Rafa to do now is .. shave.

    • You may have these stats already Rafalite. I came across them on the ATP site while reading about Rafa’s awesome win today:

      “The 30-year old Nadal won his fifth Mutua Madrid Open title and his record-tying 30th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown, matching World No. 2, Novak Djokovic, for the all-time lead:

      Player Masters 1000 Titles

      Rafael Nadal 30
      Novak Djokovic 30
      Roger Federer 26
      Andre Agassi 17
      Andy Murray 14
      Pete Sampras 11.”

      AMAZING RAFA ROCKS

    • Not just the spin, Rafalite. Thiem’s average groundstroke speed was 216kmh compared to Rafa’s 114 and that is a HUGE HUGE difference – think 200m/s!

      He said he would give everything to this match and he did. In my view he was also calmer than Rafa today and just as clutch as Rafa. It’s just that Rafa was still the better player even though he wasn’t playing as well as he did in the previous matches, bar the one against Fognini where he was still very much under the effect of his ear infection. (I’m wondering if it has gone away completely.)

      Finger crossed his body’s holding up. I saw signs of tiredness today and the stats back them up.

      Now it’s Rome and I can’t hel being worried. It’s crazy how ATP ruthlessly jams 2 clay Masters next to each other like this. 🙁

  13. Sheer genius is how to describe rafael nadal. Well done on winning madrid for a 5th time. It is clear it meant a lot to him. And commiserations to dominic thiem – his time will come and he played well. Fantastic!!

  14. Vamos….we love you❤️ Thank you for you and all you do😀 You make me SMILE!!!!!

  15. Sin palabras…shapooo!!!…te queremos Rafa…REY D LA TIERRA BATIDA…EL MEJOR D TODOS LOS TIEMPOS!!!!!

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