Thiem storms into final

Thiem storms into final

Dominic Thiem followed up his sensational victory over world number one Rafael Nadal by easing past Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-2 on Saturday to reach the Madrid Masters final.

The fifth-seeded Austrian, who ended Nadal’s 21-match and 50-set winning streak on clay Friday, needed just 85 minutes to dispose of his South African opponent, seeded sixth.

Thiem will face either German second seed Alexander Zverev or Denis Shapovalov of Canada in Sunday’s championship match.

Thiem is playing in just his third tournament since a right ankle fracture suffered at Indian Wells while US Open runner-up Anderson was competing in his first semifinal at Masters level, ending a run of 10 prior losses in quarterfinals.

The 24-year-old Austrian broke Anderson in a nine-minute opening game which was enough to secure the first set.

A double fault gave Thiem the decisive break to open the second set and he broke again for a 4-1 lead before securing victory with a service winner.

Canada’s Shapovalov became the youngest player to reach the Madrid semifinals with a feisty 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-4 win over Britain’s Kyle Edmund.

The 19-year-old Shapovalov, who lost to Zverev in the Montreal Masters semifinals last year, is assured of breaking the world top 30 as a result of his efforts in Madrid.

Petra Kvitova came through an all-Czech semifinal with Karolina Pliskova 7-6 (4), 6-3 to enter the summit round.

A key moment came in the eighth game of the first set when Kvitova landed an impressive forehand to force the game to deuce and prevent Pliskova taking a 5-3 lead.

The two-time Madrid champion eventually broke her compatriot to level the first set and edged the tiebreak as Pliskova double-faulted to hand her a two-point advantage which Kvitova pounced on.

Kvitova carried that momentum into the second set and closed the match out when Pliskova could only smash a backhand beyond the baseline. Kvitova will face Kiki Bertens of Netherlands in the final.