Rafael Nadal He could not add his second victory in the Masters Cup and the qualification for the semifinals of the masters tournament is complicated. The manacorense deflated before Dominic Thiem, in a match marked by the inspiration of the austrian in the moments and the errors, within a match of the highest level, of the Spanish tennis player, who will have to beat Tsitsipas to see himself in the semifinals.
The explosion of Thiem and the maintenance of Nadal at levels of excellence has turned the duel between the two into a classic that is not yet so. It is familiar to think of a direct cross between Dominic and Rafa, but the reality is that the last game dates from January, with a victory for the Austrian at the Australian Open.
The second duel of 2020 between Thiem and Nadal, therefore, it would be seen with the qualification to the semifinals of the Masters Cup at stake. Both had fulfilled in the first meeting with victories against Tsitsipas and Rublev and a new victory would place them very close or mathematically within the decisive phase. Good tennis was expected and both contenders did their part.
The first set had everything but breaks … no break balls, incomprehensibly. Both Nadal and Thiem pushed the rest beautifully at every opportunity, but the solidity and certain unforced failures allowed the scoring to continue with its usual course. Rafa was close to breaking on more than one occasion, but With 4-4 and service, a 0-30 put him in check and forced to a master reaction to stay on his feet in the set.
First tie-break for Thiem
Thiem did the same to equal five and again, the service remained in safe custody until he reached sudden death, which would decide the winner of the set in the tournament in which it matters most. Rafa took the reins based on experience and talent, and was placed with a 5-2 that left him on the balcony of victory, but three hits from Dominic once again equalized the contest. Nadal prevailed to have a set ball at service, but an unexpected error was going to condemn him. Thiem, activated in its maximum state of effervescence and the set went to the Austrian side.
Nadal needed to clean the slate as to his final feelings, as long as heu tennis yes it had been appropriate during the bulk of the first set. The bomb-proof mentality of Manacora made use of weakness in the always important first games, in which he resisted and even moderately scared a Thiem who seemed to be touched by a wand at key moments.
Madness, extreme quality, and Thiem’s victory
So could the Central European get up off a brilliant Nadal break, perform the counterbreak and even count three match balls to the rest in the next game. The game, a real madness, took a new turn with three match balls saved by the Spanish, which in his superhero facet sent the meeting to the decisive phase, again with the minimum details present and decisive to know the winner.
Thiem started sudden death better this time, within a manifest equality, and contrary to what happened in the first round, the tie-break leader was no longer going to stop. Once again inspired to stratospheric levels, the Austrian completed his string of winners to raise his arms and get into a privileged candidacy in the fight for the Masters. Nadal must continue fighting to enter the semifinals.