PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal loses to Dominic Thiem in Barcelona

Rafael Nadal’s bid for a 12th Barcelona Open title has been ended by Dominic Thiem. The Austrian player won 6-4, 6-4 in just over two hours to set up a final against Daniil Medvedev.

It’s the fourth time in as many years and the first time Rafa has lost in the semi-finals or finals of his home tournament.

Rafa’s defeat comes just a week after he was eliminated in the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters where he is also an 11-time champion.

After the match, Rafa said:

My confidence is back, today’s match is a good base to achieve my goals. Against Fognini, I played one of the worst matches in 14 years. Today I’ve been competitive and I enjoyed the match.

I was competitive until the end, but I’ve lost against a top-level player. I’ve missed being able to play more matches like this one.

Sources: AFP,


  1. I love this site. So many great comments and points of view. Rafa’s fans rock! I would expect no less!

  2. RR from Canada, Of course it is…mea culpa. So used to Rafa playing Slams and Masters I forget about the 500’s and 250’s. Thanks for the correction.

    Thiem bagled Medvedev in the second set. YIKES!

    I am sending Rafa lots of positive feelings and confidence for his next tournament. C’mon CHAMP!


  3. An emphatic win for Thiem. He’s a worthy winner and deserves the title. Rafa respects Thiem for his humility and work ethic (very much like himself) and I’m sure he’ll be pleased for him.

  4. Margo, You have misspoken. The Barcelona Open is only a 500 tournament not a Master 1000.

  5. Tough match and tough loss. Great to see Rafael regaining his form and confidence. Fantastic shots made by both warriors. But this is clay, and there is no tournament, for us, without Rafael Nadal. The privilege is ours. 🙏to Thiem for expressing his respect for Rafael. Stay healthy, for tennis needs you. And, we witness how much he still wants to win💪👏🍀🤛❤️

  6. We must remember that Rafa is not long back after injury . There were signs of his A game returning but in the day Dominic deserved his win . Some amazing tennis from both.
    Rafa will continue to improve and by the time Roland Garros comes round he should be at his best .
    The support he got in Barcelona just shows how loved and respected he is . He has nothing to prove but knowing his character he will be back to his best .
    I’d like to see him take a break from Madrid , relax a little and be mentally fresh .
    Wishing this great champion the best always . No player captures our hearts like Rafa ,

  7. Ian totally convinced after yesterday’s semifinal that your confidence is back and the fighting spirit.Try to reduce Unforced errors and play long rallies,I am sure you will have peak level at RG

  8. So sorry, Rafa!. We were all there for you and you played well in the second set. Too many unforced errors and not enough experience with your new serve. You CAN win again, and let’s see how the competition does in 5-set matches. Your injuries have held you back this year so far. Let’s hope you can do what it takes to reclaim your dominance. I have been a tennis fan (and former top player since high school and you have been my favorite since your early days on the tour, surpassing all former favorites.) I hope you can extend your run, of that is meant to be.

  9. Sorry, love you, Rafa always…but not optimistic about your clay season this year. Do not see you passing quarterfinals or semifinals….
    Not because you can’t….just because I think all this is so mental…and mental issue unfortunately can’t be fix fast enough …
    I am hoping and praying I am wrong

    • Biss, Rafa said it would take time for him to reach top form; he said he didn’t know how long it would take. Understandable.

      I think it could be a combination of physical and mental constraints; his full recovery and then all his off-court responsibilities. I always try to put myself in his shoes, an impossible task for sure but it helps alleviate my pain when he loses. I also think of the FO and hope he will be the dominant force that brought him 11 FO titles. Maybe he won’t peak until the end of the season so try a little hope and don’t beat up yourself so much because I know you want him to win.


      • Thanks Margo for the kind words…I am just bitter, because it’s so painful to see him lose like this matches and a lot of possibilities. Just feeling sad. But I definitely hope for 12 FO

  10. D.Thiem is 25 years old. He is very talented and outplayed Rafa today. To raise our spirits let’s all take a moment to reflect on this: He has won one Masters 1000 and has yet to win a grand slam. Rafa at the exact same age had won 10 grand slams and 19 Masters tournaments. What a spectacular, historical achievement.

  11. So nice to hear Rafa giving due credit to Thiem. Rather than being too down about the loss, Rafa looks on the positive side and appreciates that Thiem has pushed him to raise his game. “My confidence is back, today’s match is a good base to achieve my goal…” Hearing this from Rafa is encouraging, as it means he’s in a good frame of mind and confidence of his continued improvement, aiming to peak at RG……and he will.

  12. These clay tournaments prior to the French Open are practices. You will not see Nadal’s best until Rome or more than likely Roland Garros. Nadal is tempering his comeback perfectly, with focus on a 16th Grand Slam.

  13. I believe by losing to Them “there is a method to his madness.” Watch him beat Them the next time they might possibly play…French Open.? Maybe I’m crazy for thinking this way.

  14. Was Mery not there yesterday and today? She was in attendance the first two matches. Hope all is well.

  15. sad for Rafa’s defeat but great match! we are waiting for him in the next tournaments! always Vamos Rafa!

  16. Rafa said it would take time for him to be at his best. My middle name is Patience.


    • Uh, I tried my best to warn all Rafa fans not to expect too much from Rafa!

      Alas, my prediction has come true….. Hmmn, I still insist that the 12th is a mirage, that’s all I can say.
      Madrid, Rome, Roland Garros????? Big question marks…..instead of talking about these ones, its better we all talk and look forward to October when Rafa finally ties the knot with Xisca Perella.

      I definitely will not miss Rafa’s wedding for the lobe of me, it’s the wedding of the year. I just must be there, see you too, Margo. What gift do you have to present to our dear Rafa Nadal….I’m thinking of a gold racket encrusted with various pieces of precious stones…..that will be so wonderful.

      But, as always, we’d see…….cheers

      Rafa Rocks (apologies to Margo)

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