The semifinal in question is scheduled for Saturday and would've been played out by the time you read this.

The wayward form of Djokovic continued in the third game, two more errors, and an off-forehand victor from Nadal, and it was another break, and if that had thrilled the Spanish fans, a love hold, made with a smash and a forehand victor, had them in a state of euphoria.

"I haven't had that feeling in months, so it's great to feel that", he said. "But it was a final of a Masters 1000, my first one, against the best player on this surface ever". She lost to Maria Sharapova in 2014.

Halep was congratulated on court by Nastase as the Romanian received the trophy named after Nastase's former doubles partner and Madrid Open owner Ion Tiriac. The Spaniard started the clay season strong last season but picked up a wrist injury that plagued him in Madrid and Rome and eventually led to his shocking withdrawal at Roland Garros.

"It was both irresponsible and unacceptable of the Madrid Open to bestow him an official role".

Whether he likes it or not, Rafael Nadal will seek to rubber-stamp his status as the favourite for the French Open when he heads to the Rome Masters today looking to underline his return to form on clay.

He can also tie Djokovic with 30 titles in Masters 1000 events.

The disappointing straight-set loss to Nadal was his fifth defeat this year.

The four-time Madrid champion will play the title game against Dominic Thiem of Austria or Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay.

Rafael Nadal has won the Madrid Open after a grueling encounter with Dominic Thiem.

It will be the Spaniard's eighth final at his home tournament, and the first since losing to Andy Murray in 2015.

It marks the fifth time Nadal has won the crown in the capital city of Spain. After that I went for it.”. "Let's respect his level right now because it's true that perhaps it's not as high as it used to be, but I'm telling you, it's been a lot of years, and I know because I've been in his skin, being up there every single week, being No. 1 every single week, it's almost impossible".

There are some that worry that Nadal is playing too much tennis and they are already calling for Nadal to exercise caution and skip next week's Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome. "I did well in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, and also here".

Talking about the match he said: "I think it was a tough match since the beginning, especially here in altitude, which is hard to make breaks against a player like Thiem". "I've been playing at a high level during many weeks".

Djokovic hadn't made it to a semifinal since he won in Doha in the beginning of the season. "I will try to improve the things I didn't do that good in Barcelona and then we will see what happens". "And winning here, with the public on my side, has been very special", he added.