- Nadal has not dropped a set on clay since losing to Thiem in Rome last year.
- The Spaniard has beaten Thiem six times in eight meetings.
- Nadal decimated the Austrian 6-1, 6-1 in Monte Carlo earlier this year.
In-form Rafael Nadal takes on fifth seed Dominic Thiem in the men's singles quarter-final of the ongoing Master's 1000 tournament — Mutua Madrid Open 2018 at Caja Magica on Friday, May 11.
When is the Madrid Open quarter-final and how to watch it live in India
The much-anticipated quarter-final outing between last year's Madrid Open finalists will not start before 5 pm local time, 8:30 pm IST and 4 pm BST.
The live television coverage of Nadal vs Thiem will be available on Sony ESPN. Sony Liv will provide the live stream of the matches.
Nadal vs Thiem - Madrid Open 2018 quarter-final preview
Nadal has hit unstoppable form once again. The 16-time Grand Slam champion has not lost a set yet in the ongoing clay-court swing of the season.
The Spanish ace, seeded number one in Madrid, broke John McEnroe's record of 49 successive set wins on a surface by registering his 50th during 6-3, 6-4 demolition of Argentina's Diego Schwartzman in the Round of 16 match Thursday, May 10.
Nadal heads into Friday's quarter-final as the overwhelming favourite but acknowledges the threat Thiem poses on the red dirt.
The Austrian world number seven still remains the only player to have beaten the Spanish giant in clay in the last two seasons. Notably, Thiem got the better of Nadal in the final of Rome Masters in 2017 after losing twice on the trot in Barcelona and Madrid (final).
Nadal wary of dangerous Thiem
"He's one of the most dangerous players you can face, one of the ones that have a lot of possibilities to succeed," Nadal was quoted as saying by ATP's official website.
"Tomorrow is a key match in the tournament. It's one of the matches where I have to be a step ahead. I think I'm prepared for that step."
Nonetheless, Thiem has not been as impressive on clay as he was last season. The 24-year-old, who had return from a leg injury in March, managed to win only two sets against Nadal when they last met — at the Monte Carlo Masters quarter-final.
Thiem also suffered a shock quarter-final exit from Barcelona Open last month after losing to world number 63 Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets. Also, the Austrian has been taken to the distance in the first two rounds of the ongoing tournament by lower-ranked players in Federico Delbonis and Borna Coric.
Nonetheless, Thiem is upbeat about facing Nadal once again and says he is heading into the match thinking of nothing else but a win.
"It's the biggest challenge in tennis right now. It's really, really tough. I'm going into the match to win, even though it's not very realistic, the way he plays now, the way I play now," Thiem said.
Madrid Open 2018 - Global TV listings and live stream information
US: Tennis Channel
UK: TV - Sky Sports; Live stream: Sky Go
France: France TV
Switzerland: SRG, Teleclub
Malaysia: Astro Supersport