Nadal Dominates In Madrid Opener, Azarena Loses First Match Of Year; Federer v Nishikori Thursday
by Staff | May 8th, 2013, 10:09 pm

Rafael Nadal eased into the third round of the Madrid Masters Wednesday after cruising to a 6-3, 6-4 win over flaky Frenchman Benoit Paire. Nadal improved to 27-2 on the season as he bids for a third title at the biggest event in his home country.

“That’s an important victory today,” said Nadal. “Each match in this kind of tournament is very demanding from the first round. He was a very uncomfortable opponent. He makes you play quite badly. He doesn’t give you any rhythm. He has one of the best backhands in the circuit, without any doubt.”

It was the second win over Paire, who was celebrating his 24th birthday, in as many tournaments for Nadal. And after Novak was stunned yesterday, Rafa was high alert.

“Talking about the Djokovic defeat, those things can happen,” Nadal said. “When you’re playing these kinds of tournaments, you’ve got the best players in the world. It happened. He was defeated.”

Next for Rafa is a date tomorrow with Russian Mikhail Youzhny who upset Nicolas Almagro 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-2.

Spanish No. 1 David Ferrer also debuted making quick work of Denis Istomin 7-5, 6-2. He’ll now face 35-year-old Tommy Haas.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Stanislas Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych who won his 400th career match were also winners. Tsonga beat Robin Haase in two breakers. The Dutchman Haase has unbelievably now lost his last 17 tiebreakers he’s played.

Big serving Kevin Anderson is next for Berdcyh. The South African took advantage of the altitude to oust Argentine Juan Monaco in a mild upset. Kei Nishikori also advanced, and he now meets defending champion Roger Federer on Thursday.

The 23-year-old Nishikori is looking to defeat a Top 5 opponent for the fourth time in his career (3-12) and follow in the footsteps of fellow youngster Grigor Dimitrov’s big upset Tuesday. But the Swiss beat Nishikori easily in their only meeting at 2011 Basel.

Dimitrov returns against the very hot-handed Wawrinka late in the day.

Andy Murray is also in action tomorrow, he’ll look to continue his mastery over Gilles Simon. Murray has won 10 straight against the Frenchman.

“It’s always difficult against him because there is a lot of long rallies,” Murray said. “He moves unbelievably well and makes very few unforced errors.
Every time you play against him there is a lot of long games and points, so you need to be prepared for that. I’ve played well against him in the past, so I hope I can do the same again on Thursday.”

In the women’s event, former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka suffered her first official loss of the season. After a spate of ill-timed withdrawals thus far in 2013, Azarenka was finally beaten on court today by Ekatarina Makarova 1-6, 6-2, 6-3.

“I have to give Ekaterina credit – she played really well,” said Azarenka who was playing her first event since Indian Wells. “I felt like I had a lot of chances; I just didn’t take them. I put myself down a little bit. Hey, I didn’t play for a long time. I haven’t lost a match for a long time. But this happens – it was going to happen sooner or later anyway.

“I just want to do better in the next tournament and kind of pick it up.”

The Belarussian wasn’t the only former Slam champion sent packing. Svetlana Kuznetsova and Petra Kvitova both fell out of the tournament to Angelique Kerber and Daniela Hantuchova, respectively.

In the late match, Ana Ivanovic dashed the hopes on young Laura Robson overcoming a 5-2 third set deficit to deny the Brit in a final set tiebreaker.

Tomorrow tournament favorites Maria Sharapova takes on Sabine Lisicki while Serena Williams meets Maria Kirilenko.

MANOLO SANTANA start 10:50 am
S Lisicki (GER) vs [2] M Sharapova (RUS) – WTA
[1] S Williams (USA) vs [13] M Kirilenko (RUS) – WTA
Not Before 3:15 PM
[5] R Nadal (ESP) vs M Youzhny (RUS) – ATP
[14] K Nishikori (JPN) vs [2] R Federer (SUI) – ATP
Not Before 8:00 PM
V Lepchenko (USA) vs [7] S Errani (ITA) – WTA
Not Before 9:30 PM
[3] A Murray (GBR) vs [16] G Simon (FRA) – ATP

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69 Comments for Nadal Dominates In Madrid Opener, Azarena Loses First Match Of Year; Federer v Nishikori Thursday

Kimberly Says:

Well at least the Miami heat got revenge on their Monday loss with a good old fashioned $ss kicking!

Humble Rafa Says:

A traitor is always a traitor…no matter how many he wins or chokes.

skeezer Says:


Wow, that was a total A$$ kicking! Bulls better bring out some Celtics magic or they will get crushed from here on out.

Hey the Warriors still stole a game away from home? I thought after the first game, which they should of won, but Grigor’ed it away (LOL) they were done. But they came back solid to when one at the opponents home!


nadalista Says:

Vamos Rafa! Youzhny next……..

Kimmi Says:

That 18-0 win/loss record for azarenka before today’s loss was deceiving. she pulled out of dubai and miami, she withdrew from the qtr final in IW and she was still unbeatable this year?

harry Says:

@skeezer: Congrats on the Warrior’s win over Spurs :-)

harry Says:


nadalista Says:

Rafa Nadal on Sir Alex Ferguson: “A great career fighting for the team! Admirable Sir Ferguson. Good luck in your new way. // Una carrera entera luchando por un equipo! Admirable Sir Ferguson. Suerte en tu nuevo camino.” (via Rafa’s Twitter)

Thank you Rafa, for a shout out to a legend. Happy Retirement Sir Alex and thank you for giving us so much happiness!


Sirius Says:

I’ve got a bad feeling….. Fed will lose today :|

skeezer Says:


they probably won’t win it all but there hecka fun to watch ;)

Ben Pronin Says:

Warriors should win in 6 games now, if not 5. Curry is awesome.

Bulls got lucky in game 1, but the gap is too huge between the 2 games, as game 2 showed.

Knicks-Pacers is most intriguing to me. I felt that the Pacers would win even before the playoffs started and they certainly hold the edge right now, but with the Knicks, who knows?

I think Grizzlies will beat the Thunder, too.

Jimmy Says:

Hard to get excited about it when my Lakers had a disaster movie of a season.

Kimberly Says:

@Jimmy, well said, it was a disaster movie.

@skeezer-huge win for you guys.I really thought they would be demoralized after the game 1 loss that they should have won but they came back solid. I think they have a decent chance in the series. It is not a given that the spurs will advance.

@ben-I think memphis has a decent chance of advancing! And I don’t like the way they match up against Miami, I prefer OKC.

@humble Rafa–i guess lebron should take humility lessons from your Humble Highness?

@the rest of tennisx—-Madrid masters, who is the pick. I think its between Rafa and Federer. Fed matches up well against Rafa in Madrid. I think they both make it to the semis and I think the winner will win the title. Probably over Berdych or Murray.

Sirius Says:

Fed going out? He’s lost the 1st set :|

wouldn’t mind though. I like kei, the only asian in top 20 :)

Humble Rafa Says:

Talking about the Djokovic defeat, those things can happen,” Nadal said

These type of defeats happen to good people all the time. Some Soda pops your Humble Highness, next some Medicine Guy beats me at Cow Grazing Tournament. Things happen.

Injury always has something to do with it.

Humble Highness

Humble Rafa Says:

I’ve got a bad feeling….. Fed will lose today :|

The Arrogant One is a down slope with no end in sight. But given the conditions, and the choking tendency of Mr. Kimiko Date, a favorable result for the Arrotards is on the cards.

Polo Says:

Gone are the days when I would watch Federer assured that he will win. Except, of course, when he played against that magnificent Spaniard.

Ben Pronin Says:

Kimberly, it’s almost ironic because I consider the Grizzlies the only possible threat to the Heat from the West. But in the finals? Pfffft. I’m seeing a Warriors-Heat final ;)

the_mind_reels Says:

Fed rolls 6-1 in the second. Let’s see what’s in store for the third.

Jimmy Says:

The Griz are a decent matchup against the heat, huge front line, Prince on Lebron, Tony Allen on Wade, a good point guard, if they can control the tempo and play their usual good defense then you never know…

Sirius Says:

Grizzlies, warriors, heat…. Sorry but what game are u guys talking about?

Daniel Says:

Wow, after second set thought Fed would sail through. Bit nishikori can serve really good with his fast motion.
Fed has only 1 chance which is when Nishi serves fir the match, if nerves will creep in

Nole Rules Says:

Federer will be joining Nole in going early to Rome.

Sirius Says:

Well done, Kei. Best of luck for the rest of the tourney

Rsutherland Says:

Tennis got even more interesting. Throw in another Haas victory for good measure.
Hopefully Dimitrov and Nishikori don’t dissolve after the big scalps.
Oh Skeezer – say 17 ‘Hail Marys’ and chant ‘knees, knees, knees” to the rhythm and tune of ‘Gayatri Mantra”. Then perhaps your life may still have meaning until Rome.

Aon Says:

upset no 2, fed lost to nishi.

Nole Rules Says:

Nadal has this tourney in the bag.Federer will lose a lot of points after this defeat and it looks like Federer will go titleless till Halle.

volley Says:

i suppose this is the risk when you take 2 months off. there was an awful lot of rust.

Daniel Says:

Jesus Sirius, you should follow your guts more often.

Fed losing in a tourney where his worts result in last 4 years was semis is not good. Ok, firstbclay tourney in 6 weeks but even so. He should at least forced Nishi to serve the match out. Bad result!

One thing we do know, neither Djoko nor Fed will win Wimbledon, Nadal or Murray;-)

rafaeli Says:

Nole Rules Says:
……..looks like Federer will go titleless till Halle.
May 9th, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Not necessarily, Nadal is playing Halle.

Nole Rules Says:

@Daniel i didnt know you had the magical ability to predict the future.Both of them are very capable of winning the tournament and it is not wise to count champions like Nole and Federer out.

Nole Rules Says:

@Rafaeli in that case Federer’s fans have a LOT to worry about! :D

nadalista Says:

RT @christophclarey: “So….green clay next year in #Madrid? #tennis”

Desperate times call for desperate measures………..

Sirius Says:


he he, i will try ;)

btw, gotta take a break from visiting T-X for a couple of week. This place is going to go nuts within a few hours

Daniel Says:

@Nole Rules
I am just making fun beacuse ever since Madrid went to clay all Madrid Champion went on to win Wimbldeon:
Fed 09′
Nadal 10′
Djoko 11′
Fed 12′

Let’s see if the trend remains this year. If so, bad for our guys:)

Humble Rafa Says:

Humble Highness on cruise control.

Arrogant One and his follows lose control.

andrea Says:

nice win by kei! upset city….

Ahsan Najeeb Says:

Great disappointment as a Fed fan on this result….It seemed as if he had it under control in the second set… He had started to look v dominant in long rallies by the end of second set… I thought it was a v strange match where Fed held his serve with ease in first two sets… Only one bad game cost him the match IMO.. He won more points in both the sets and 9 more points overall and ended up on the losing side… What is more disheartening is that he did not put up any kind of fight in the end and there was no resilience at all on break points throughout the match… He just resigned on everyone of them

Giles Says:

Smurf King is addicted to the blue stuff. The proper red stuff clashes with his fluorescent green shirt, hence the loss. Ah well, at least he can say he is King of Blue Clay.
Vamos Rafa!!

Nole Rules Says:

@Daniel in 2009 Federer won the Cincinnati Masters.After that he didnt win any tournament for quite some time but his first tournament win after Cincinnati was in a slam.In 2012 Federer won Cincinnati and he hasnt won anything after that yet.So you never know your man might repeat that again.Federer is my 2nd most fav player after Nole and it would be great if that happens :D

Giles Says:

This is funny:
RT @Pseudofed: Staff member just said to me, “In what world are you seeded higher than Nadal for the French Open?”
# you’refired

Ben Pronin Says:

Giles, get over the seeding nonsense.

Jimmy Says:

Nadal needs more matches against Djokovic than he needs an easy run to another clay court title.

contador Says:

Go Tommy!

I am not watching the match, following the score only, and Tommy Haas is up a break on Ferrer in the deciding set!

Is it possible to be spared another lame Nadal v Ferrer match?

Tommy Haas would be a refreshing change v Nadal for a semi-final.

contador Says:

^^ I mean quarterfinal, right?

Haas v Rafa

contador Says:

Ferrer got the break back apparently : /

Must be a good match

Giles Says:

Ben Pronin. That was supposed to be a bit of humour by Pseudofed. And don’t tell me to get over the seedings as I, for one, couldn’t care less in that regard!!

contador Says:

Oh dear, it is deuce on Tommy’s serve.

Ferrer could win the match in 2 points.


contador Says:

Phew, Tommy fought of one mp

contador Says:

Ferrer wins…ah, good for me bracket though. shoot.

skeezer Says:

“Nole Rules Says:
@Rafaeli in that case Federer’s fans have a LOT to worry about! :D”

Feds fans don’t worry about anything. Fed has done his bit and sits atop the throne of Slams. Let everyone chase :)

That includes you Rsutherland.

Not expecting Fed to win much at all this year, or the year after……..the wind is changing directions. If he wins, he wins, if he doesn’t, its all good.

Congrats to Kei!



Heat vs Warriors final? Don’t jinx the possibility! ;-D

Humble Rafa Says:

Just wanted to drop by and see how the funeral was going. Not much crying, still seeing sadness. Shows that people have accepted reality.

RZ Says:

Disappointed in an early Fed loss, but happy for Nishikori to show how good he is.

BTW, funniest thing I’ve read today (from ESPN): “Federer’s early exit leaves Nadal as the apparent front-runner after world No. 1 Novak Djokovic bowed out on Tuesday.”

I realize that Nadal’s record at Madrid doesn’t match his brilliance at Monte Carlo and Roland Garros, but heck, it’s a clay court tournament and one he’s won several times before. Of course Nadal is the front-runner to win the title there!

Wog boy Says:

Is Andy playing bad or Simon playing good, cannot watch it?

the DA Says:

@ wog boy – Andy played like crap for a set and a half – no energy at all. Started getting better in the 2nd half. It took 5 SPs but he finally won the 2nd set. Into a third. Anyone’s guess what happens now.

Wog boy Says:

the DA,

Thanks, I hope Andy has it under control now.

the DA Says:

He has, Just got the break with 2 stunning points.

the DA Says:

And then gets broken. It’s one of those matches. sigh

the DA Says:

6 MPs later and Andy wins. Berdy is going to slaughter him if he plays like he did tonight.

Wog boy Says:

I look at the stats and BP conversion and serving didn’t look well, but he won and that is what matters. I wouldn’t mind if Nole had these stats bad but won.
Good luck against Berdych, I saw his match against Anderson, he played safe and it was well played.

RZ Says:

Phew, at least one of my favorites won today!

the DA Says:

^ Yeah I saw their match too. Berdy was a little up and down but he was crushing the ball. Andy was strangely subdued and only became aggressive intermittently. He’ll need to be on the front foot from the start otherwise we’ll see another result like Wawa at MC. Just my $0.02.

the DA Says:

I mus add though that Simon played more aggressively than I’ve ever seen him. He was in control much of the time. He deserves credit for that. Perhaps it threw Andy off a bit? Who knows.

harry Says:

Wow! I wasn’t paying close attention for a couple of days and: Fed out to Nishi (didn’t see that coming)… Muzza pushed to the “limit” by Simon (with Tomas to come).

Wouldn’t be surprised if Rafa is already sipping some sangria while playing poker :)

Skeezer Says:


we’ll see the posts go way down now with Fed and Nole out. Muzza doesn’t look into it, so now will see the Rafanatics and Rafa bots come out and talk the “screw every other player” etc etc etc except Rafa.
Whats better entertainment ATM ? NBA Playoffs baby!!!!

See u all @ Rome!

Humble Rafa Says:

Some people come back from injury with humility and thrive.

Others come back with arrogance and lose their second match.

Humility Vs Arrogance, Humility always wins.

Margot Says:

Cheers Wog Boy. Decided not to watch after awful first set. Andy has never beaten Big Bird on clay so confidently predict here’s where his run ends.
Very sad news about our Olympic sailor Andrew Simpson who drowned in San Francisco Bay.

Wog boy Says:


Really sad:(
Heard on the news this morning.
RIP Andrew

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