Thiem snaps Nadal's streak, cruises in quarterfinals at Madrid

Thiem ends Nadal's unbeaten run on clay with victory at Mutua Madrid Open

Federer will therefore move back to the top of the rankings, despite taking the clay-court season off, but of more effect is a performance from Thiem that suggests Nadal may have a genuine rival at the French Open.

His run is perhaps a reflection of a lack of rivals, with Roger Federer, Djokovic and Andy Murray, for different reasons, all posing little threat on clay over the past year.

"I have to return well tomorrow and go in with same attitude like today".

The result means that fifth-seed Thiem becomes only the third player - after Argentine Gaston Gaudio and Serb Novak Djokovic - to beat Nadal on clay on three occasions. I think I really hurt him with them.... "That's what I'm working on". But the remarkable streak was brought to an end by Thiem, who refused to let the momentum slip after winning the first set 7-5. However, in quotes that appeared in the UK's Daily Express newspaper Nadal said he knew it would be hard to continue his run as the world's top-ranked player.

'Like obviously two weeks ago in Monte-Carlo, he killed me Love and 2. It was very important I went into the match with a positive attitude, with an attitude to win. I thought the first step was putting myself in that position.

Thiem, watched by his girlfriend - and WTA star - Kristina Mladenovic, turned the screw for a 3-1 lead in the second set but Nadal battled back to 3-3.

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With a fabulous backhand victor down the line, Thiem reached his first match point at 3-5. I am No. 3 in the Race of the year, which is the most important thing.

World No 8 Anderson reached the last four after his 7-6 (7-3), 3-6, 6-3 victory over Serbian qualifier Dusan Lajofic in Friday's quarterfinals. He is likely to face Thiem again in the quarter-final of the final ATP Masters 1000 tournament on the red dirt, starting May 14.

In the second semifinal, Denis Shapovalov will take on Alexander Zverev.

Zverev defeated John Isner 6-4, 7-5 to gain revenge for his defeat to the American in the Miami Masters final in April. Thiem broke the Spaniard five times in the match, which lasted one hour and 55 minutes.

On the women's side of the draw, Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands continued her sparkling week, securing a place in the final with an emphatic 6-2, 6-2 victory over France's Caroline Garcia.

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