Nadal beats Djokovic to reach 8th Madrid final

Rafael Nadal matched Novak Djokovic's record of having won 30 ATP Masters 1000 titles on, as he outclassed Austrian Dominic Thiem 7-6 (8), 6-4 in the final of the Madrid Open on Sunday.

It will be Nadal's eighth final at his home tournament, and the first since losing to Andy Murray in 2015.

Nadal will look to seal his fifth title in Madrid in Sunday's final against Austrian Dominic Thiem in a repeat of the Barcelona Open final Nadal won 6-4, 6-1 two weeks ago.

Thiem suffered defeat to Nadal in the Barcelona Open showdown last month, but will have a shot at revenge following Saturday's 6-4 6-4 triumph.

"These last few weeks have been very special".

The win has many implications for Nadal, who is now a tour-best 34-5 on the year.

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"What's important to me is to make it to another final", said Nadal.

Nadal confirmed his return to form with a long-awaited win over Djokovic, his 24th in 50 career meetings.

But the Spaniard, buoyed by his belief and eager to avoid a third set, would earn two more championship points, converting the fourth with a backhand volley victor.

Nadal edged a bruising first set after blowing eight break points with a top-class tiebreak, playing adventurous shots which sapped Goffin's energy and the world number 10 ceded the final point with a double fault.

"Now that I did it once, playing really well in such a big tournament, the next step is to maintain this level next week". "He has already reached a Masters 1000 final and is sure to play more", he said.

"It was a good fight out there".

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"Sometimes against the best players in the world, the best ever player on this surface, you even lose when you play well", said Thiem, who also rises to a career high seventh in the rankings. But in December or January, I was not expecting to play badly, because I knew I was doing a very good off-season.

Fourteen-time Grand Slam Champion Rafael Nadal has insisted that things are going very well for him at the moment and he is very happy.

Passes the idle Roger Federer in the rankings, guaranteeing a top-4 seed at the French Open regardless of what happens in Rome.

Nadal, who was out for much of previous year because of a wrist injury, has won 30 of his last 32 sets going into the tournament in Rome this week.

Nadal has now won at least one ATP title every year since 2004.

A finalist in Madrid in 2014, Nishikori lost his last 10 matches against Djokovic, including in the semifinals in Madrid past year.

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Nadal improves to 47-10 with five titles at Madrid. His other titles came in 2005, 2010 and 2013. "It shows you you're working in the right way", said Nadal, who has thrived after struggling with his game for two years. In Monte-Carlo and Barcelona I did well, same here.

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