Sports

That's so easy for Dominic Thiem!

That's so easy for Dominic Thiem!

Ryan Harrison has only once ever been a sub [1.50] favourite on clay - against Igor Kunitsyn on home soil in Houston in 2012 - so his match against Yuichi Sugita is rather uncharted territory for the American, on what is his worst surface.

Nadal, who will be 32 years old in June, should have been finished by now, especially on clay. EPA-EFE/MARISCALKarolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in action against her compatriot Petra Kvitova during their semi final match of the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament at Caja Magica in Madrid, Spain, 11 May 2018.

I'm not even thinking about that.

A year later, Nadal left the French Open after winning two rounds because of a wrist injury. The lower-ranked Austrian also won their last meeting (at Rotterdam Open in February last year).

But instead of crumbling, Nadal has climbed back and become more dominant on clay than ever before.

Nadal has always maintained that rankings do not concern him too much, but admitted he preferred being at the top of the pile rather than at number two, three or five.

He will play fifth-seeded Dominic Thiem in Sunday's final.

But Nadal isn't just winning matches on the surface he loves; he's dominating them. In the victory, Zverev won 88 percent of his first serve points and 63 percent of his second serve points.

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Essentially, his opponents are never safe on the court - Nadal can win any point at any time. The Austrian dropped the first set against Federico Delbonis in their second round match and was forced to dig deep to turn the match around, eventually prevailing in three 5-7 6-3 7-5.

A double fault gave Thiem the decisive break to open the second set and he broke again for a 4-1 lead before securing victory with a service victor as he reached his 15th career final and fifth in a row on clay.

"It gave me a huge boost of confidence", Thiem said.

He owns a record that, in tennis, doesn't compute - it shouldn't be possible. But then when you step (into) the shot again, you are just trying to hit the return, you play the rally, the serves, whatever.

Roger Federer has won eight Wimbledon titles, an all-time record, and 87 percent of his matches on grass, in 188 attempts.

And Djokovic, victor of six titles at the Australian Open and two at the U.S. Open, has an 84 percent winning percentage in his 609 hard court matches. Both possess powerful groundstrokes although for Zverev it is his backhand that is his biggest strength whilst Thiem relies most heavily on his forehand.

He had a great match with Novak Djokovic which he came through and won before Rafa dismantled him in Monte Carlo.

Earlier in the day Thiem backed up his shock defeat of defending champion Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals to beat South Africa's Kevin Anderson 6-4 6-2 and reach the final for the second year in succession.


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