The Masters 1000 Series continues this weekend with our coverage of the ATP Madrid Open semi-finals on Sky Sports Arena starting from 3pm on Saturday. He also beat Thiem in the final here at Caja Magica a year ago, though that was a bit more hard at 7-6 (8), 6-4.
Had he been thinking about that 0-10 run, he was asked? "He was better than me today".
"You can not be No. 1 five months without competing", said Nadal, who had knee troubles end of last season, and was out from end of January until April with a psoas injury.
Nadal will have a few days' break before he starts his campaign at Rome Masters.
In between came two truly compelling matches. However, he upset the Spaniard in Rome previous year, winning 6-3 6-3.
But this was a new day at a new tournament, and brought a bold, attacking, confident Thiem to court.
But Djokovic has one of the better records on the red dust against Nadal. It was an overall impressive performance from Thiem, who has now beaten Nadal three times on clay. It was Delbonis who took the first set, winning it with a late break. Nadal levelled 5-5. I didn't make too many stupid errors.
But Nadal again lost his serve. But Thiem broke back and won through 2-6 7-6 6-4.
It did not stop there.
Nadal and Thiem had previously met each other eight times, with the Spanish star clinching six of those games. But Nadal expects to see the 12-time Major champion return to the top.
Champions League finalists Real Madrid meanwhile had both Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio lending their support to main attraction on the clay court - Rafael Nadal. Here, Thiem found an extra gear, firing winners from everywhere as he won ten out the next 11 points and grabbed the victory on his second match point. But who will win this one?
"You can not be No. 1 five months without competing", Nadal said after his loss to Thiem, as quoted by the Express.
Second seed Zverev showed no signs of tiredness as he cruised past Mayer 6-4 6-2 in only 70 minutes. But he was the youngest quarter-finalist in the Madrid Masters history.
Kyle Edmund continued his excellent run by ousting eighth-seeded David Goffin 6-4, 6-4.
"Hopefully I can go even further". The only such case occurred in the quarterfinal match in Barcelona against Martin Klizan (6:0, 7:5).
Shapovalov, 19, ranked at 43 in the world, fired 29 winners past Edmund, a surprise semi-finalist at the Australian Open in January.