ATP Madrid: Nadal is Mighty in the Magic Box - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

ATP Madrid: Nadal is Mighty in the Magic Box

Avatar

Published

on

TENNIS ATP Madrid – Rafael Nadal started his title defense in Madrid against Juan Monaco. The World Number 1 simply destroyed the Argentine 6-1 6-0 in the “Magic Box” stadium. Nadal was just spellbinding. Cordell Hackshaw

 

Interviews, results, order of play and draws of the Mutua Madrid Open

Half way through to the clay court season, world’s number one Rafael Nadal from Spain is in almost desperate need of a confidence boaster as he heads to Paris. In recent months, Nadal has looked well off his game, calling into question whether he will lift La Coupe des Mousquetaires at this year’s French Open for an unprecedented 9th time. It is said that there is no place like home and that adage might just be apropos for Nadal as he began his title defense at the Mutua Madrid Open 2014 today. The recent doubts about him retaining the French crown might have quickly been discredited as Nadal simply destroyed Argentina’s Juan Monaco 6-1 6-0 in the “Magic Box” stadium. Nadal was just spellbinding.

Nadal could not have asked for a more prefect opponent in the form of Monaco. They are good friends often seen together during the off seasons and Nadal has a 4-1 lifetime record against him with that lone loss due to the Spaniard’s retirement from the match in 2007. In their most recent meeting at the 2012 French Open, Nadal lost only 2 games 6-2 6-0 6-0. Nadal knows the Monaco game inside and out.

Monaco won the toss and elected to receive to start the match. The Argentine showed signs of wanting to make this a competitive match as he earned himself a break point in the opening game. However, Nadal raised his game and saved break point and subsequently broke for a 2-0 lead. Monaco would break right back for 1-2 but he would fail to win another game after this as Nadal simply dominated the rest of the way reeling off 10 straight games. Everything was working for the Spaniard, his footwork, his groundstrokes and his trademark intensity. It certainly added more in the Spaniard’s favour as the crowd as firmly behind. Monaco grew increasingly frustrated as he found it difficult to win points much more games in the match. He soon took issue with chair umpire, Carlos Bernardes but that did not help the Argentinian’s cause.

The statistics for the match are astounding for Nadal particularly in the second set. Nadal made 100% of his first serves and only lost 3 points on serve. Monaco, on the other hand, was able to get an impressive 86% first serves in for the set but only won a mere 2/12 points (17%). Thus in other words, of the 29 points played in the 2nd set, Nadal won 24 of them. The match was so one-sided that one is not sure whether it was Nadal playing that great or Monaco playing that horribly. Whatever, the case, Nadal will take this win and move through to the next round to face Jarkko Nieminen for a place in the 4th round. All of the top players who can possibly hurt Nadal are out whether by forfeit or failure as both Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer withdrew from the tournament and Stanislas Wawrinka lost to Dominic Thiem from Denmark yesterday. Thus, this is without a doubt, Nadal’s tournament for the taking and to collect his 4th Madrid title.

Nadal had much to say after the match, giving himself high marks for his performance. Sincerely I think I moved better and played well, better than I normally play on the clay. I was dominating over the points and playing very well. I think I’ve done positive things.” The Spaniard added “I’m just playing here at home with lots of intensity, and I don’t care if Novak, Federer, or Wawrinka are not in the draw. I just look at my side of the draw, and I have to be ready for my next match.” This win put Nadal at 654 overall tour level wins and placed him in the 11th spot on the Most-wins list, just above the great Arthur Ashe. However, the Spaniard is not concerned about these statistical matters, he just want to win titles.

ATP

Felix Auger-Aliassime Survives Australian Open Marathon

For a second time this week the Canadian was pushed but managed to win a tough four-set match against his Spanish opponent.

Avatar

Published

on

Felix Auger-Aliassime (Manuela Davies/USTA)

Felix Auger-Aliassime booked his spot in the third round of the Australian Open after beating Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 7-6 in a match that lasted four hours and 20 minutes.

 

The Montreal native hit 58 winners and served 28 aces while Davidovich Fokina hit 51 unforced errors. It is the second time the 21-year-old has reached the last 32 in Melbourne Park in what is his third appearence.

The first game of the match was a nervy one for the world number nine as it lasted six minutes and it involved him saving two breakpoints before being able to hold serve. The opener stayed on serve until 2-2 when the Fokina came up with an impressive passing shot to set up two more chances for the first break of serve of the match and this time managed to convert. Three games later the Canadian fought back and broke right back to go back on serve.

It was a tiebreak which decided the first set. The Montreal native jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the Spaniard came back again to win the next four points but the Canadian responded again winning three straight points to take the breaker 7-4 and the first set.

The second set was another impressive performance on serve by both players and once again was decided by a back and forth breaker that this time was won by Davidovich Fokina to level the match.

The third frame was much the same as both players kept their level up and not much differentiated the two. This tiebreaker was much more straightforward as the Canadian jumped out to a 5-1 lead before closing out the third set 7-5 and taking two sets to one lead.

The fourth set stayed on serve until 2-1 when the world number 50 had a chance to break and was able to get it for a 3-1 lead before the Canadian was able to break back the following game to go back on serve.

For the fourth time, the set was decided by a tiebreaker and this one was super tight with the Canadian getting the crucial break to take a 4-3 lead and that one break was enough for him to serve it out.

Auger Aliassime will now face Dan Evans in the third round after the Brit was handed a walkover against Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech who pulled out of the match due to injury.

Continue Reading

ATP

‘Best Feeling I’ve Ever Had’ – Underdog Christopher O’Connell Stuns Schwartzman At Australian Open

Prior to this week the 27-year-old had never won a main draw match at Melbourne Park or beaten a top 20 player.

Avatar

Published

on

Image via https://mobile.twitter.com/ESPNtenis

World No.175 Christopher O’Connell has pulled off a major upset at the Australian Open by knocking out 13th seed Diego Schwartzman.

 

The 27-year-old wild card had only ever won one match in the main draw of a Grand Slam prior to this year but illustrated the talent that he has with a 7-6, 6-4, 6-4, win over Schwartzman. A player who is currently ranked 162 places above him in the rankings. Against the Argentine he fired a total of 44 winners and won 75% of his first service points on route to claiming his first win over a top 20 player.

“It’s the best feeling I’ve ever had on a tennis court. I’ve been playing tennis since I was four. To have moments like this it’s a dream come true.” O’Connell said during his press conference.

Despite the straightforward score, the match itself was a marathon. The opener alone lasted for almost 90 minutes with the underdog saving three set points whilst down 4-5 before prevailing in the tiebreaker. Then in the following two sets he broke Schwartzman three times in total.

“I knew how crucial that first set was. It was really warming up out there. It was really a battle back and forth. It was crucial to get that first set, especially in the heat,” he said.

A late bloomer on the men’s Tour, the Australian started to make a breakthrough last year by reaching his first quarter-final at the Atlanta Open where he defeated Jannik Sinner. During that year he also reached the final of a French Challenger event before withdrawing due to injury and reached the second round of the US Open.

O’Connell, who has been ranked as high as 111th in the world, credits his coach for helping him reach new milestones in the sport. He is mentored by former player Marinko Matosevic who reached a ranking high of 39th back in 2013 and made more than $2M in prize money during his playing career.

“The process didn’t start yesterday. It’s been happening all of last year,” he stated.
“I’ve been working with Marinko. He’s just really confident with how I want to play tennis now. It’s the first time I’ve really had a one-on-one coach literally every day with me.’
“Marinko was such a great player. All his knowledge of the game, he’s just putting it onto me.”

Next up for O’Connell will be the in-form Maxime Cressy who lost to Rafael Nadal in the final of the Melbourne Summer Set just over a week ago. The American defeated Czech qualifier Tomáš Macháč 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(5), in his second round match.

“I knew I had good results in me. It’s just being consistent. I felt today was a consistent match from me,” he reflected.
“But the biggest thing for me is just staying healthy, not having these injuries where I miss two months of tournaments. I nearly missed five or six months last year. I can’t be doing that.’
“The belief is always there, but I just got to make sure my body’s healthy this year. I want to play a full year.”

Continue Reading

ATP

French Player Tests Positive For COVID-19 Hours After Australian Open Defeat

The world No.40 was preparing to leave the country.

Avatar

Published

on

Image via https://twitter.com/HumbertUgo/

Ugo Humbert is in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19 following his first round loss at the Australian Open on Tuesday.

 

Humbert, who was the 29th seed in the men’s draw, is understood to have produced a positive result during a routine procedure players have to conduct before they leave the country. It is unclear as to if he is currently suffering from any symptoms.

Humbert crashed out of the tournament to compatriot Richard Gasquet, who won their match 3-6, 7-6(4), 7-6 (3), 6-3, in three hours and 18 minutes. Gasquet also tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival in Australia earlier this month but was given the all clear to play at Melbourne Park following a negative test. There was a 15-day period between the 35-year-old announcing on Twitter he had the virus and his first match against Humbert.

“I was tested positive on my exit test yesterday and I’ll stay one more week in isolation in Australia,” Humbert wrote on Instagram.
“Thanks for your support and see you soon.”

The 23-year-old has started his season by winning one out of four matches played. Prior to the Australian Open, he scored one of the biggest wins of his career by defeating Daniil Medvedev at the ATP Cup in the group stages. However, following that victory he suffered losses to Alex de Minaur and Matteo Berrettini.

Tennis Australia is yet to comment on Humbert’s positive test.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending