The Madrid Open is at the semi final stage now with two great clashes on paper in the men’s side. Novak Djokovic will face Dominic Thiem for a spot in the final, with Thiem looking to extend his eight match winning streak. Thiem had lost five straight to Djokovic but has since won the last two, both coming on clay.
Djokovic will be fresh for this matchup after Marin Cilic pulled out of their quarter final meeting with food poisoning. It means that he has played just two matches to find himself in the last four. “I’m building slowly,” Djokovic had said after his win against Jeremy Chardy a few days back. “Roland Garros, on clay is where I want to peak. But of course I would love to try to get as far as in this tournament and also in Rome next week as possible.”
Thiem won an epic encounter against Roger Federer to make it this far, coming from a set down and saving match points to advance 3-6 7-6 6-4. The Austrian continues to deliver in big moments and it will be very interesting to see how he performs at Roland Garros, if he can continue his current level of play.
While Thiem did beat Djokovic in Monte Carlo last year, he recognises the difference between then and current Djokovic is vast. “Tomorrow is a different game, of course,” he said. “But I was playing Novak last year, and two years ago, and he was not at his best, I guess. Now he is again. He’s won the last three Grand Slams and he is at the top of the ATP Ranking again. So the challenge couldn’t be bigger… I’ll try to keep up my good momentum which I have now and give my best again.”
Prediction – Novak Djokovic in three sets