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Monday, June 24, 2024

Nadal fitness improves to battle into fourth round in Madrid Open


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Madrid: Rafael Nadal continued his return from injury at the Mutua Madrid Open on Monday to qualify for the fourth round with a 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-3 win over world number 91 Pedro Cachin.

After losing the second set in a tie-break, Nadal showed his increased fitness to battle through in the third set to win a marathon match that lasted three hours and four minutes.

In front of a very vocal, sold-out crowd on the Manolo Santana center court in Madrid, 37-year-old Nadal gave flashes of the tennis that has seen him crowned champions in Madrid on five occasions.

“Let’s see how I feel when I wake up tomorrow, I hope I’ll be OK,” Nadal commented on Spanish TV after his win.

Russian third seed Daniil Medvedev had to dig deep again in Madrid to beat big-serving American Sebastian Korda, who won the first set 7-5 and had Medvedev, who never looks completely comfortable on clay, under pressure at 5-4 up and deuce on the Russian’s serve in the second set.

The Russian held his serve and won the set on a tie-break, before claiming the third set 6-3 in a match that lasted two hours and 22 minutes.

Casper Ruud also qualified for the last-16 with a 6-2, 6-4 win over 29th seed Cameron Norrie.

Women’s top seed, Iga Swiatek breezed into the quarterfinals on Monday morning with a 6-1, 6-0 demolition of Spain’s Sara Soribes Torbo, who had previously defeated former champion Victoria Azarenka

2022 winner, Ons Jabeur also reached the last eight, with the eighth seed whitewashing ninth seeded Jelena Ostapenko in the opening set of their match.

Jabeur won the first set 6-0 and took the second 6-4 to claim a win that was easier than expected.

Third seed, Coco Gauff is out of Madrid, however, after a three-set defeat to fellow American, Madison Keys, who took the first set on a tiebreak 7-6(4) and bounced back after losing the second set 6-4, to win the decisive set by the same score.

Fifth seed Maria Sakkari was also the victim of a slight surprise as she went out after a 6-4, 6-4 defeat to 11th seeded Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia in a match that was decided by fine margins.

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