Anderson made it to his first Masters 1000 semi-final, on his 11 attempt, with a 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-3 victory over Dusan Lajovic on Friday. But make no mistake: Anderson had a big career hurdle to jump.
Kvitova previously won on the Madrid clay in 2011 and 2015. Swiss is the oldest leader of the ATP ranking in tennis history. Sugita's clay data is bad too, and his random run in Barcelona past year is looking more and more like a flash in the pan, having lost all six matches on the surface after that display.
But the Austrian was outplayed, and over-powered, by Zverev, who collects his third ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title.
Fresh from victory at the Prague Open last week, Kvitova twice battled back from a break down in the opening set to eventually claim a 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 win in one hour and 43 minutes.
In between came two truly compelling matches.
Thiem was the last man to take a defeat, or take a set off, Nadal previous year in Rome before the Spaniard began his streak, and he was the man who ended it on Friday, nearly 12 months later.
Nadal is the defending champion and a 10-time victor at Roland Garros. The Spaniard will regain the status of the first racket of the world, if next week will win the masters in Rome, where last season in the quarterfinals lost to all the same Tim. But it's been two years since they last played on red dirt, 2016 Roland Garros, when Thiem won in four sets. He won 21 matches on clay and 50 sets (in a row). Did he really stand a chance against the formidable Spaniard, who entered his beloved clay swing more rested than ever before courtesy of his injury absence since the Australian Open?
But this was a new day at a new tournament, and brought a bold, attacking, confident Thiem to court.
Thiem is rightly considered, on his day, one of the finest clay court players now operating beneath Nadal who remains king of the surface.
Nadal brushed aside Thiem, 6-0, 6-2, just three weeks ago at Monte Carlo, where the Austrian was returning after being sidelined for a month due to a broken foot.
Thiem brought that same winning attitude starting with a break and holding on to that lead to grab the first set. "I think the level of my game increased especially in this week".
Edmund had acquitted himself against a player rated as one of the game's rising stars, swapping breaks early in the first set before a sloppy final service game saw the British No.1 fall behind. Thiem won a famous victory in style, with his 29th victor of the match.
Kevin Anderson was eliminated by Dominic Thiem. Winning a Masters, another Masters, is unbelievable.
Zverev mixed up his game and offered few sniffs until he had to claw back from 0-30 down when serving for the set, Thiem going long with a forehand to surrender the opener.
In Rome, the Rome Masters gets started today with five first-round matches and a number of qualifiers also taking place.
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