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Nadal’s clay court streak ends in Rome

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Originally published on 19/05/17 00:00

The Spaniard’s bid to complete a hat-trick of clay court Masters 1000 titles came to an end at the hands of the Austrian No.8 seed, who completed a 6-4 6-3 victory to reach the semi-finals of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

A seven-time champion in Rome, Nadal was riding a 17-match winning streak, having won titles in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid.

The world No.4 was bidding to win all three ATP Masters 1000 events on the clay – having only achieved the feat once before in 2010.

However, after suffering back-to-back defeats to Nadal in Barcelona and in last week’s final in Madrid, Thiem finally found an answer to beat the left-hander for the second time in six meetings.

“What was wrong is that the other player played very well,” said Nadal. “He was very aggressive, very strong. He played very well, didn’t miss much and was able to push me back.”

After a brief trip home to Mallorca, Nadal will next head to Paris to prepare for his bid for an historic 10th title at Roland Garros. He has not lifted the trophy there since 2014.

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