Thiem puts Nadal revenge in his sights
Dominic Thiem set up a Madrid Open final showdown with Rafael Nadal as the Austrian ended the charge of Pablo Cuevas.
Thiem suffered defeat to Nadal in the Barcelona Open showdown last month, but will have a shot at revenge following Saturday's 6-4 6-4 triumph.
Nadal, a four-time winner in the Spanish capital, will prove a much sterner examination following his stunning straight-sets success over holder Novak Djokovic.
But Thiem has beaten the "King of Clay" on the red surface in Argentina last year and he continued his promising form against Cuevas.
Cuevas produced some remarkable shots to see off Alexander Zverev in the previous round and demonstrated some of that swagger early on against Thiem.
But, having appeared to quickly settle into the groove in his maiden ATP Masters 1000 semi-final, the world number 27 produced some loose shots in the fifth game that cost him a decisive break.
Thiem, ranked 19 places above his opponent, forced further break-point openings at the next opportunity as he continued to dictate the rallies and show greater accuracy off both wings.
He made Cuevas work hard to hold in a mammoth first game of the second set that saw another three break points pass Thiem by.
There were few other sniffs for either player on serve from there, but when the opportunity arose for Thiem in game nine he did not pass up the opportunity.
And he took the match on his second match point to set up the date with Nadal.