Rafa Nadal is certainly reaching, if he hasn’t already done so, his dominating clay court form as he swept aside Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals of the Madrid Masters.
To win against Novak by that score you have to be playing very well, otherwise it's impossible Rafa Nadal
The King of Clay is most definitely back. In what was their 50th meeting of which the previous seven had been won by the Serb, Nadal took control to win through to the final 6-2 6-4 for his 14th consecutive win on the surface and his first win over Djokovic since The French Open in 2014.
Nadal kept the world No2 at bay during the opening set and while Djokovic recovered some of his form in the second, he was unable to make much of an impact on the Spaniard’s defences.
Nadal, who is chasing his third consecutive title of the season and his fifth in Madrid, faces Dominic Thiem in the final, the Austrian having beaten Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay, 6-4 6-4.
"It is a great result," he said, as quoted on BBC. "To win against Novak by that score you have to be playing very well, otherwise it’s impossible. It was an important match for me. I lost a lot of times in a row. To break that means there are always nerves."
"The circumstances nowadays are completely different compared to those seven matches that occurred before. I think that the last two years perhaps haven’t been my best two years. For Novak, they were really good years."
Nadal certainly goes into SundayÈs final as favourite to win his 72nd career title and his 52nd on clay, but Thiem has improved his own game and physicality saving five match points in his third round match against Grigor Dimitrov, to arrive in his first Masters Final having won in Rio de Janeiro earlier in the year.