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Nadal rises back to No. 4 with Madrid win

Rafael Nadal beat four top 20 opponents, each in straight sets, on his way to winning the Madrid Open.

Put him on a clay court, can anybody beat Rafael Nadal right now?

Even more than just being on the clay surface, Nadal looks unstoppable now. Nadal had home court advantage at the Madrid Open but was simply incredible as he won for the fifth time in his home country’s capital. It was his second ATP Masters 1000 victory this year and third Masters 1000 finals appearance in 2017, also going along with his Aussie Open Finals.

Nadal beat Dominic Thiem 7-6 (10-8), 6-4 to win the title and it secured his spot at No. 4 in the world rankings. Back in a position he’s known so well and has been expected to be in. But what was most impressive was that he lost just one set in the entire tournament and pulled off straight set victories over Nick Kyrgios, David Goffin, and Novak Djokovic before beating Thiem in the finals – three top 10 players in the world and a fourth ranked in the top 20.

On clay, Nadal has won 30 of 32 sets this year and is 15-0 on clay in 2017.

The victory also gave him his 30th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title, tying Djokovic for the most ever.

Nadal is back ranked in the top four in the world for the first time since October 2016. His last run at No. 4 lasted only four weeks before he dropped back down. He spent much of 2016 ranked sixth of lower and entered the year ranked ninth. He was even as low as 10th in the world rankings in 2015.

Now, he’s back in the spot that just seems so natural to him. He’s No. 4 and has to be the overwhelming favorite to win this week’s Masters 1000 Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, Italy, which is also played on a red clay court.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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