Sunday, 21 May 2017

Thiem conquers Nadal

Dominic Thiem has done the seemingly impossible and knocked off Rafa Nadal in the Rome quarter finals.  In doing so he broke Nadal's run of 17 consecutive wins on clay this year.

The Austrian has certainly learnt from the Barcelona and Madrid finals, as he attacked Nadal mercilessly from the outset.  Rafa struggled to hit winners through the first set, whereas in previous contests they flowed in each game.
Thiem broke serve in the first and fifth games, his depth of shot bothering Nadal as he was kept moving from side to side.
Although one of the breaks was retrieved, Thiem was in control and captured the opening set 6-4.

At 3-3 in the second set, Thiem hit two winners, one from each wing, to break the Nadal serve, and in the next game saved break points to hold for 5-3.
Nadal had game points for 4-5 but couldn't contain a rush of four straight from Thiem to win the game, set and match 6-4 6-3.

A sensational match and a massive confidence boost for Thiem as he reached the semi final.  He will play either Novak Djokovic or Juan Martin del Potro, their match stopped by rain with Djokovic leading 6-1 1-2.

Following 4th seed Nadal out the door were 5th and 6th seeds Milos Raonic and Marin Cilic.  Sascha Zverev dismissed Raonic, while John Isner added Cilic to Wawrinka as top ten players he has defeated in Rome.
That's where it ended for the American as Zverev went on to win the semi final over Isner with a dominant third set 6-1.

Elina Svitolina had failed to win against Karolina Pliskova in five attempts before their quarter final but the Ukranian eighth seed was unstoppable this time, especially in the opening set which she won 6-2, helped by Pliskova's inconsistency on serve.
Set two was high class tennis and Pliskova had many chances, leading with a break but losing that, and then not converting three set points in the tie break.

Svitolina deserved the victory, solid throughout and ready for Garbine Muguruza in a semi final.  Muguruza defeated Venus Williams in three sets in another quarter final.

The other semi final was won by Simona Halep, who proved too strong for Kiki Bertens, the two women having won quarter finals against qualifiers Anett Kontaveit and Daria Gavrilova respectively.

No comments:

Post a Comment