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Madrid: Rafael Nadal Advances to Third Round

Apr 28th 2024

Rafael Nadal Advances to Third Round

Rafael Nadal made a successful entry into the second round of the Madrid Open after a straightforward victory against American youngster Darwin Blanch with a score of 6-0, 6-1. In his next match, Nadal faced Australian Alex de Minaur, the tournament's 10th seed, in what promised to be a challenging contest. Just two weeks prior, de Minaur had bested Nadal at the Barcelona Open with a 7-5, 6-1 scoreline, which initially suggested the Spanish champion might struggle in Madrid.

The center court was electrified with a full-capacity crowd, further energized by the unexpected presence of King Felipe VI. The enthusiastic support seemed to rattle de Minaur, and Nadal, bolstered by the home advantage, showcased his legendary skills and experience to secure the win.

The first set was closely contested, with both players trading service breaks and forcing a tiebreaker. Nadal started strong in the tiebreaker, but de Minaur fought back to save three set points. However, the Australian ultimately faltered, handing the set to Nadal with a double fault.

In the second set, Nadal established control early by breaking de Minaur’s serve and maintaining the lead throughout. His composed play and strategic approach allowed him to maintain his advantage, securing the set and the match.

This victory marked an important milestone in Nadal's return to form, delighting the Madrid crowd, who now eagerly anticipate at least one more thrilling match from the tennis icon.

Seeds Perform as Expected

Most top seeds continue to progress smoothly through the tournament. Players like Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner, Alexander Zverev, Taylor Fritz, Hubert Hurkacz, Andrey Rublev, Daniil Medvedev, and Ben Shelton have advanced comfortably.

Casper Ruud is also on a roll, in contrast to his early exit last year. His recent performances in Monte Carlo and Barcelona—where he reached the finals—suggest that he might be set for a successful run in Madrid.

However, the tournament has seen a few upsets. The early elimination of Stefanos Tsitsipas by Brazilian Thiago Monteiro came as a shock. Tsitsipas may have struggled from consecutive finals in Monte Carlo and Barcelona. Another surprise was the exit of Grigor Dimitrov at the hands of Czech talent Jakub Mensik. Despite Dimitrov's strong form and high seeding, Mensik triumphed in three sets: 6-2, 6-7, 6-3.