In this picture, Rafael Nadal of Spain shows his dejection during his straight sets defeat against Dominic Thiem of Austria in their quarter final match during day seven of the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament at the Caja Magica on May 11, 2018, in Madrid, Spain. On Friday, though, it was a different story.
Thiem was untouchable behind his first serve and he saved all three break points he faced in the 10th game of the opening set to keep his serve intact and mount the pressure on the other side of the net.
Rafael Nadal made history in his homeland by bringing up a half-century of consecutive sets won on clay, while Dusan Lajovic shocked Juan Martin del Potro to reach the Madrid Open quarter-finals. "But I've done it", he said on Thursday.
"I think I played one of my best matches this year for sure, and for sure on clay in my life". I tried to do it. "Let's not talk about that anymore and let's continue on what we have ahead which is what I am concerned about", Nadal said. He was better than me today. "He played well and I didn't play well". I don't think it's that way.
"What makes me happy is I feel fit, can compete with possibilities every single week. That's what I'm working on", he said.
Part of the problem for Thiem in this match up is how well Nadal defends.
Halep said: "Today she didn't miss". It doesn't mean that I'm done. "I don't have any doubt he's going to be back up at the highest level". He's in a really great form. "It was an awesome match".
"Two weeks ago in Monte Carlo, he killed me love and two".
'It was very important I went in with a positive attitude, with an attitude to win. Also in maybe the next upcoming tournaments'.
Next up for Lajovic will be South African world No. 8 Kevin Anderson, who defeated German Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 7-6 (9-7) in the third round.
"Very tough match. Especially here on this surface and even more in altitude". This year till now I had only one or two tournaments that I had played. The ball flies more here...
Dominic Thiem, who also received a first round bye, has endured a rather more hard route to the quarterfinals. "All these things, probably after I finish my career will be the time to think about it", Nadal was quoted as saying on the ATP World Tour's Web site.