The Spaniard dispatched Dominic Thiem 7-6 (10-8) 6-4 on Sunday to win his fifth Madrid Open title and move into the world’s top four.
By Carlo Chikomba
Rafael Nadal is in sparkling form this year and the Spaniard is showing no signs of slowing down, adding the Madrid Open to his already burgeoning trophy cabinet for this year that already consists of the Barcelona Open and Monte Carlo Masters
The victory earns him his third straight title while his boosting his record on the clay court this year to an impressive 15-0.
The win, though, was not an easy one as the first set was very tense and lasted one hour and 18 minutes with Nadal eventually edging the Austrian in the tie-break.
He would, however, go on to break the world number seven Thiem early in the second set to set up the win.
The new rankings are scheduled to come out on Monday, where Nadal will be confirmed as the new world number four, thereby replacing 18-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer.
His new ranking will also drive up his seeding for the French Open starting on 22 May, a tournament which the Spaniard has won nine times.
The 30 year old has now won his 30th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title, tying the all-time record with Serbia’s Novak Djokovic.
Nadal was upbeat about the title win as he told Television Espanola: “The truth is I was up against an opponent who, in the next five to 10 years, will be fighting for the most important titles, so I’m very happy to have won.
“It was a very exciting game.
“It was a very important final for both of us, for him as it was the first in the Masters 1000, and for me it’s always special to play here in Madrid, in this unique tournament.
“You never know when it might be the last, so I always try to enjoy it.”