The 32-year-old world number two had hoped to become the first player to win the same event 12 times.
Memorably previous year it was Thiem at the Madrid Masters who broke Nadal's 21-match winning run on clay, but the Spaniard got his revenge in the best possible way a few weeks later, as he beat the Austrian to claim his 11th French Open title at Roland Garros.
Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts during the semi final tennis match against Italy's Fabio Fognini at the Monte-Carlo ATP Masters Series tournament on April 20, 2019 in Monaco.
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We need to be more intelligent, they (the young players) more than us because we (the older players) are more experienced. Sometimes an experienced player says something and they do not care, or the manager says something and they do not care.
Ferrer held his next service game and Nadal had to wait for the rain to clear before serving successfully for the set. Medvedev held with an ace, 6-5, and produced a stunning backhand victor to bring up match-point.
On a damp Pista Rafa Nadal, the 11-time Barcelona champion was put under pressure in each of his first two service games before turning the tide and taking control of the opener. At one point, with the Italian holding three match points at 5-0 in the second set, it looked probable that Nadal would suffer his first "bagel" on clay since 2007. 'Thiem played a great match and I was in it. "I took a step forward and was able to play with more energy". By beating Nadal on the red dirt Thiem has entered an elusive club a players who have won 4 or more matches against Nadal on clay. I'm feeling strong physically and mentally.
Nadal continues to be the odds-on favourite to win not only this match but the tournament.
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"I hope I can continue improving every day". 'We always had great matches in the past, and also today's was very good.
Nadal said that Thiem "is a candidate to win any tournament on clay".
"Even though it is bad that I got injured here, I am happy that it happened at the beginning of the clay season, and not in Rome where it is really close to the French Open".
"It was hard, I started well but the court was slower when the rain started coming down, that damaged me but I still played a competitive game".
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