Dominic Thiem defeated Rafael Nadal in straight sets 6-4,6-4 to reach the finals of Barcelona Open. This is the first time when Rafael Nadal lost a semifinal match at the Barcelona Open. Dominic Thiem becomes only the second man to defeat Nadal four times on clay after Novak Djokovic.
Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem have played some of the memorable matches on the clay court in the past two seasons. The two met for the 12th time in their career with Rafael Nadal leading the head-to-head 8-4. They have played 11 matches on clay against each other with Rafa leading 7-4.
The Spaniard entered the match with a perfect winning record in the semifinals at Barcelona. The 17-time grand slam champion has never lost a semifinal match in Barcelona with 11-0 win-loss record.
While Thiem entered the match to extend his streak to beat Nadal on clay every year. He has previously defeated Nadal on clay in three different seasons. First in 2016 Buenos Aires, then in 2017 Rome Masters and in 2018 Madrid Masters.
Dominic Thiem put Nadal on ropes after seizing a thrilling first set of the match. The 11-time Barcelona Champion was in trouble after he lost the first set 6-4. Nadal did not look comfortable from the start of the match. Dominic Thiem was gifted with a break in the fifth game after Nadal hit the fourth double fault of the match. Thiem took advantage of being a break-up and held his service games till the end of the set.
The second set was a replica of the first set. The Austrian broke Nadal’s serve in the fifth game of the second set. Nadal threw away 3 breakpoints in the 10th game of the second set, trailing at 5-4. World no. 5 again held his serve till the end of the match and defeated the Spaniard in front of his home crowd.
Thiem will face Daniil Medvedev in the finals of the Barcelona Open. Medvedev stunned Kei Nishikori in the first semifinals.