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Thiem ends Nadal’s record streak in Madrid

Rafa Nadal (right) had not dropped a set on clay since 2017 and set a new record of 50 consecutive set wins on a single surface on Thursday

Rafa Nadal suffered a shock 7-5 6-3 defeat by Austrian Dominic Thiem in the Madrid Open quarter-finals on Friday, a result that means the Spaniard will lose the world number one ranking.

Thiem, who lost to Nadal in the Monte Carlo quarter-finals last month, was the last player to beat the Spaniard on clay – at last year’s Rome Masters.

Nadal had set a record of winning 50 consecutive sets on a single surface by beating Argentine Diego Schwartzman on Thursday.

The 24-year-old Thiem broke Madrid title holder Nadal’s serve five times before sealing victory with a powerful cross-court winner in just under two hours.

The Austrian, seeded fifth, will face South African Kevin Anderson in the semi-finals on Saturday.

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