Dominic Thiem in Madrid Open final after big win over Kevin Anderson

Highlights of Dominic Thiem up against Kevin Anderson in the semi-finals of the Madrid Open.

Dominic Thiem secured a first career win over Kevin Anderson to reach the Madrid Open final on Saturday.

Having lost their previous six meetings, Thiem cruised past the South African 6-4 6-2 to reach the final in Madrid for the second year in a row.

Thiem succumbed to Rafael Nadal in the final 12 months ago, but having ended the world No 1’s remarkable run on clay at the quarter-final stage this time around, the Austrian will be confident of claiming a first title in the Spanish capital.

A final match-up against Alexander Zverev or Denis Shapovalov awaits the world No 7, with that semi-final under way on Sky Sports Arena from 8pm on Saturday.

Thiem rarely looked troubled against Anderson despite his 0-6 record going into the encounter.

The 24-year-old broke in the first game of the match and then saved three break points in the 10th to take the opening set 6-4.

A comfortable second set followed, with Thiem breaking twice without offering any break-point opportunities to wrap up the win in one hour and 27 minutes.

And having beaten Nadal en route to the final, Sky Sports’ tennis expert Greg Rusedski believes Thiem will be the Spaniard’s greatest challenger to French Open glory when the Grand Slam gets under way later this month.

“I think he [Thiem] goes in as the second favourite for the tournament [behind Nadal],” Rusedski said.

“We don’t really see anybody else out there pushing Rafa, while having that win against him on Friday was huge.

“If he can keep this form up, keep the consistency, he’s got a shot to possibly get to a first Grand Slam final, if he’s on the other side of the draw as Rafa, who is still the man to beat.”

The Masters 1000 Series continues throughout this week with our coverage of the second ATP Madrid Open semi-final on Sky Sports Arena starting from 8pm on Saturday.

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