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Novak Djokovic digs deep to edge past Dominic Thiem into Madrid final

• World No 1 wins 7-6, 7-6 and will face Nadal or Tsitsipas
• Kiki Bertens beats Simona Halep 6-4, 6-4 in women’s final

Novak Djokovic might never unseat the king of clay, Rafael Nadal, but the world No 1 showed why he remains the most lethal heir apparent.

In another high-grade but wildly uneven clash of the seeds Djokovic wavered between distracted and inspired to break the recent spell Dominic Thiem has held over him on the dirt, winning 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4) in two hours and 22 minutes to reach his third Madrid final. In his previous two he has claimed the title.

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