Rafael Nadal continues to stutter as Dominic Thiem sets up Daniil Medvedev final

ATP Tour
Dominic Thiem forehand

Dominic Thiem claimed his fourth win over Rafael Nadal on clay, this time beating the world No 2 in the Barcelona Open semi-final.

Nadal came into the Spanish tournament looking to set a new ATP record by winning the same event 12 times, but he came up short as he fell in straight sets to Thiem.

Austrian Thiem, who also beat the Spaniard in the Madrid Open last year, secured a straightforward 6-4, 6-4 victory in just over two hours.

The 25-year-old broke in game five of both sets and then served it out on each occasion.

“For sure, this was one of my best wins on clay. It always requires an incredible performance to beat Rafa,” he said.

“It’s his best surface, he’s the best to ever play on it but if it’s my best, I don’t know.”

He will face Daniil Medvedev in the final after the Russian secured a 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 win over fourth seed Kei Nishikori.

The deciding set lasted more than an hour and, after trading a couple of early breaks, Medvedev got the crucial break in game 12.

“It almost [slipped]. He was up a break in the third and I felt that I lost the momentum,” Medvedev said.

“The match was going away from me,” Medvedev said. “I’m really happy that I managed to hold my nerves, to try to come back, and I managed to come back. I’m just happy to be in the final.”

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