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No excuses from Rafael Nadal after Madrid loss

Spaniard was beaten by Dominic Thiem.

No excuses from Rafael Nadal after Madrid loss

Rafael Nadal refused to make excuses after his record-breaking winning streak came to an end at the hands of Dominic Thiem in the Madrid Open quarter-finals.

Nadal will also lose his world number one spot after a 7-5 6-3 defeat to the Austrian which brings to an end his 21-match unbeaten run on his favourite surface.

On Thursday Nadal was celebrating booking his place in the last eight with a straight-sets win over Diego Schwartzman, which saw him surpass John McEnroe’s record of 49 straight set wins on a single surface.

But Nadal could not maintain his form and was comfortably beaten by the world number seven, who broke his opponent’s serve five times in the two-hour match.

Nadal told atptour.com: “I am playing against one of the best players in the world and we were playing in special conditions – the ball flies more here and i was not under control of the point.

“I tried to come back but I wasn’t good enough today. I think I’ve placed myself in a good position. I still have two good weeks on clay then I’ll keep moving forward.”

Roger Federer
Despite sitting out the clay court season, Roger Federer will regain the world number one slot (John Walton/PA)

Nadal relinquished his world number one position to Roger Federer, who is sitting out the clay court season, but the Spaniard will retain it if he wins the Rome Masters next week.

In the semi-finals Thiem will face South African sixth seed Kevin Anderson, who proved too strong for Serbian qualifier Dusan Lajovic, winning 7-6 (7/3) 3-6 6-3 in just over two hours.

Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov booked his place in the last four after winning an engrossing and fractious affair against British number one Kyle Edmund.

Shapovalov struck to seize the first set against the Briton, who had arrived in the last eight by virtue of stunning back-to-back wins over Novak Djokovic and David Goffin respectively.

Edmund was briefly distracted by a member of the crowd shouting out towards the end of the second set, but he managed to save a match point before battling through a tight tie-break to force a decider.

But it was Shapovalov who stepped up to the mark as he gained the decisive break in the third game of the set and maintained his advantage to reach the semi-finals 7-5 6-7 (7/6) 6-4.

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