World no. 7 and the defending Madrid finalist Dominic Thiem advanced to his second Masters 1000 final in the Spanish capital in 2018 after a commanding 6-4, 6-2 win over the 6th seed Kevin Anderson in an hour and 25 minutes.
The Austrian defeated world no. 1 and the last year's champion Rafael Nadal, continuing in the same style against the South African and overpowering him with a full package of good serving and deep and accurate groundstrokes that left Anderson with no chances in his first Masters 1000 semi-final, losing the previous ten quarter-final encounters at that level before toppling Dusan Lajovic.
It was the first triumph for Dominic over Kevin in seven clashes, losing six times on hard courts and having a chance to win at least two of those. Thiem was untouchable behind his first serve, fending off all three break chances offered to Anderson in the tenth game of the opening set to keep his serve intact and mount the pressure on the other side of the net.
Kevin served at only 56% and that wasn't enough to keep him safe, getting broken three times from eight opportunities given to Thiem and losing the edge in the more extended exchanges to end his run in the semi-final.
Dominic tamed his shots beautifully, in a mixture of powerful strokes that moved Kevin from the comfort zone and drop shots that gave him the edge in some longer rallies. Thiem had 16 winners and only eight unforced errors while Anderson counted to 13 winners but also 27 mistakes that cost him the match, unable to find an open space and to penetrate Thiem's defense.
Also, Dominic had more aces and the edge in the quickest rallies up to four strokes, having the upper hand in the longest ones after taking 26 out of 37 to earn his win fair and square, seeking his first Masters 1000 title against Alexander Zverev.