ATP

Red-hot Medvedev through to QFs, Tsitsipas survives

By Sports Desk August 19, 2021

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  • Azarenka makes history with 200th WTA 1000 win Azarenka makes history with 200th WTA 1000 win

    Victoria Azarenka made light work of progressing into the round of 32 at the Madrid Open and she made history in the progress.

    Azarenka, a two-time finalist in Madrid, despatched Tatjana Maria 6-3 6-1 on Thursday.

    It brought up her 200th victory at WTA 1000 events, which makes her the first woman to hit that milestone since the format was introduced in 2009.

    The former world number one needed just 81 minutes on court to get the job done, and will face Sara Sorribes Tormo in the next round.

    Data Debrief

    This was Azarenka's first meeting with Maria, and her service game was excellent, with the Belarusian winning 63.2 per cent of her first-serve points. She also saved five break points, having offered up seven, and converted six going the other way.

    Azarenka, who has won 10 WTA 1000 events, is 14 clear of next-best Simona Halep (186) on the list of women with the most WTA 1000 match wins. 

  • Raducanu stunned by qualifier Carle in Madrid Raducanu stunned by qualifier Carle in Madrid

    Maria Lourdes Carle made a splash at the Madrid Open on Wednesday, as the qualifier sent Emma Raducanu packing.

    World number 82 Carle stepped into the void to fill in for Karolina Pliskova, who withdrew prior to the end of the qualifying rounds, to face 2021 US Open champion Raducanu.

    It is just the second time Carle has reached the main draw of a WTA 1000 event, and she ensured it would be a memorable campaign after a 6-2 6-2 victory over Raducanu, who is now ranked at world number 221, though has enjoyed something of a return to form this season.

    Raducanu reached the quarter-finals of the Stuttgart Grand Prix last week, going down to world number one Iga Swiatek, but has recently enjoyed victories over the likes of Angelique Kerber and Caroline Garcia.

    Data Debrief

    Carle is the first player from Argentina to defeat a former women's singles grand slam Champion since Nadia Podoroska overcame Serena Williams in Rome in 2021. 

    The 24-year-old is making just her sixth WTA main draw appearance, with her first WTA 1000 appearance having come in Miami in March.

  • 'I will play Roland Garros if I feel competitive' – Nadal uncertain on French Open participation 'I will play Roland Garros if I feel competitive' – Nadal uncertain on French Open participation

    Rafael Nadal is unsure as to whether he will be fit enough to feature at the French Open.

    Nadal is embarking on a swansong season, having indicated he will retire after the 2024 campaign.

    The 37-year-old is set to make his farewell appearance at the Madrid Open this week, with his campaign starting against American teenager Darwin Blanch on Thursday.

    Nadal, now ranked 512 in the world, has played just five Tour-level matches this year, as he makes his comeback from yet another injury lay-off.

    And the 14-time Roland Garros champion acknowledged on Wednesday that he would be unlikely to play at the French Open should it be taking place this week.

    "If I was in Paris today, I wouldn't go out to play," he said.

    "I don't think I'll be able to play at 100 per cent, but it's important to be able to play for the last time in Madrid.

    "It means a lot to me to play on this court where I've had some great moments."

    Thankfully for Nadal, the French Open does not take place until late May, giving him time to get fit.

    "If I arrive in Paris the way I feel today, I will not play," he said.

    "I will play Roland Garros if I feel competitive. If I can play, I play. If I can't play, I can't. It won't be the end of the world or the end of my career. I still have goals after Roland Garros, like the Olympics.

    "Few weeks [ago], I didn't know if I would be able to play again on the professional tour. It's not perfect but at least I am playing and I can enjoy again, especially in the tournaments that are so emotional for me.

    "I'm able to enjoy the fun that I can say, probably, goodbye on court. Without trying to confuse anyone, I don't know what's going to happen in the next three weeks.

    "I'm going to do the things I have to do to be able to play in Paris. And if I can, I can and if I can't, I can't. I'm going to Paris if I feel like I'm good enough. I'm going to Paris if I feel capable enough to compete."

    Nadal played three times in Brisbane in January, losing to qualifier Jordan Thompson and subsequently missing the Australian Open.

    He featured twice in Barcelona earlier in April, losing to Alex De Minaur in the round of 32.

    Nadal has won five titles in Madrid, though, and the tournament holds a special place for him, as he underlined his determination to compete.

    He added: "Some moments I find myself enjoying being on court, playing against the best players again and I feel myself, more or less competitive, and other moments I feel limitations and it’s difficult.

    "The goal is to be on court, enjoy it as long as possible. I mean, that's the thing, enjoy the fact that I will be able to compete one more time on the professional tour and here at home in Madrid, a place that gives me everything in terms of support.

    "I am here giving myself a chance. If at some moment my situation improves, if I am able to find better feelings in my body, I need to be ready."

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