Madrid Flashback: Rafael Nadal seeks Caja Magica three-peat

The king of clay, Rafael Nadal, was among the players to beat at the Madrid Masters when it moved to clay at Caja Magica in 2009. The Spaniard reached six finals between 2009 and 2015, failing to reach the title clash only on blue clay in 2012. After winning titles in 2013 and 2014, Rafa was back in another final in 2015. The home favorite remained on the title course following a 7-6, 6-1 victory over Tomas Berdych in an hour and 44 minutes. It was Nadal’s second consecutive victory in Madrid over Berdych and revenge after losing the Australian Open encounter against the Czech in January.

Thus, Rafa extended the winning streak at Caja Magica to 14 and set the title clash against Andy Murray. Nadal lost only ten points behind the initial shot. He never faced a break point and took the opening set tie break before racing towards the finish line in the second. Tomas served at 45% and gave his best to remain in contention at least for a set. He dropped the tie break 7-3 and faded from the court in set number two, as many times before against the rivals from the top. They had a similar number of winners, and Nadal committed fewer unforced errors. The Spaniard had the upper hand in the shortest and more extended rallies to seal the deal in straight sets.

Rafael Nadal defeated Tomas Berdych for his sixth Caja Magica final in 2015.

The first break chance came in the opener’s seventh game when Berdych denied Nadal’s opportunity with an ace. The Czech fired a service winner at 5-5 to remain on the positive side of the scoreboard and extend his chances. With no room for errors, Nadal held at love at 5-6 to gain momentum ahead of the tie break. He pushed strong and opened a 5-2 advantage with two winners. The Spaniard fired another from his forehand to earn a 6-3 lead before Berdych sprayed a forehand mistake to hand the set to Nadal after 61 minutes. Leading 2-1 in set number two, Rafa forced Tomas’ error to convert the third break chance and move 3-1 up. He confirmed the break with a service winner and secured another return game at 4-1 after Berdych’s double fault. Serving for the triumph, the Spaniard hit two winners in the seventh game to move over the top and set the title clash against Andy Murray.