Rafael Nadal has lost his world No 1 ranking after suffering a quarter-final defeat by Austria’s Dominic Thiem at the Madrid Masters. 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 – and he prevailed in the Spanish capital on Friday (May 11), winning 7-5, 6-3.
Claycourt king Rafael Nadal has played down the significance of his quarter-final defeat by Austrian Dominic Thiem at the Madrid Open -- a loss that ended a year-long winning streak on clay and cost him the world number one ranking.
The 31-year-old Spaniard looked unstoppable going into his Friday clash with fifth seed Thiem, having won 50 consecutive sets on the red dirt, but he was well beaten 7-5, 6-3.
Coincidentally, it was Thiem who last beat Nadal on clay, at last year's Rome Masters, shortly before the Spaniard rampaged to a 10th French Open title without dropping a set.