Madrid: Nadal Dominates, Murray Surprises Almagro; Isner v Ferrer Thursday
by Staff | May 7th, 2014, 8:22 pm

Rafael Nadal shook off any scuttle of struggle this clay season by pounding good friend Juan Monaco 6-1, 6-0 in the second round today at the Madrid Masters 1000. Nadal, the tournament defending champion, needed just 69 minutes to advances.

“I think I moved better and played well, better than I normally play on the clay,” said Nadal. “I was dominating over the points and playing very well. I think I’ve done positive things.”

Nadal, who lost in the quarterfinals in both events last month, moves on to face Jarkko Nieminen tomorrow in the third round.

“It’s obviously the biggest challenge you can get – playing the World No. 1 and best player ever on clay,” said Nieminen who’s 0-7 against his fellow lefty. “I’ve played [Nadal] many times. It’s nothing new. It’s another new great challenge and I’m looking forward to it.”

Nadal’s potential quarterfinal opponent, Tomas Berdych, also advance dismissing, once again, Kevin Anderson. Berdych and Anderson have incredibly met 11 times since the start of 2012 with the Czech winning all of them.

“There was also the aspect of the many matches I’ve played with Kevin and all of them went my way,” Berdych said. “It’s always something that I can build on. I served well, played solid. I think we have similar games, but I do it a little bit better and that’s the reason. I can always find something extra. It’s also probably a mental thing as well now.”

Next for Berdych is Grigor Dimitrov. The Bulgarian who turns 23 in a few days edged the already-23 Marius Copil in a thrilling final set breaker between two young talents.

“Marius deserved to win, but I came through on a few big points and that was the biggest difference,” said Dimitrov of the Romanian who showcased a lethal one-handed backhand. “I feel positive having a match like that. I suffered the entire match but I came through. Mentally, I was good. That was my only weapon today.”

Other winners were Ernests Gulbis, John Isner, Marin Cilic and Andy Murray who began his clay season with an impressive 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 win over Nicolas Almagro. After, Murray talked about the recent death of his countrywoman Elena Baltacha.

“It’s been a tough ten days or so,” Murray said. “I kind of kind of had an idea what was going on with Elena because my mom is obviously very close with her and her husband.”

In the women’s draw, Serena Williams romped while Aga Radwanska needed three to beat Svetlana Kuznetsova. And Roberta Vinci upset former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki.

On tap Thursday is a good one between Li Na and Sloane Stephens in a first meeting. Serena will face Spanish hope Carlo Suarez Navarro and Maria Sharapova and Sam Stosur collide. The marquee men’s match features Isner against favorite David Ferrer.


MANOLO SANTANA start 11:00 am
WTA – [16] S Stephens (USA) vs [2] N Li (CHN)
WTA – [1] S Williams (USA) vs [14] C Suarez Navarro (ESP)
Not Before 3:15 pm
ATP – [1] R Nadal (ESP) vs J Nieminen (FIN)
ATP – [Q] S Giraldo (COL) vs [7] A Murray (GBR)
Not Before 8:00 pm
WTA – [4] S Halep (ROU) vs [15] S Lisicki (GER)
Not Before 9:30 pm
ATP – [5] D Ferrer (ESP) vs [9] J Isner (USA)

WTA – L Safarova (CZE) vs [5] P Kvitova (CZE)
Not Before 2:00 pm
ATP – [12] G Dimitrov (BUL) vs [6] T Berdych (CZE)
Not Before 3:00 pm
WTA – [8] M Sharapova (RUS) vs S Stosur (AUS)
WTA – [11] A Ivanovic (SRB) vs A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) or [6] J Jankovic (SRB)
ATP – F Lopez (ESP) vs [Q] D Thiem (AUT)

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31 Comments for Madrid: Nadal Dominates, Murray Surprises Almagro; Isner v Ferrer Thursday

Humble Rafa Says:

Knowing who your gf, I will be careful there.

skeezer Says:

^ and you all think that is funny?

Michael Says:

Rafa’s execution of Monaco was real slaughter on Court while Andy’s confidence on clay courts would have zoomed after this easy win over Almagro who is a good clay court player. All said and done, this is a tournament for Rafa to lose. I think he already has the crown on his bag. With Novak, Wawrinka out of the way, Rafa’s job is already half done.

Hippy Chic Says:

Michael i wont be taking it for granted that Rafas a shoo for the final,he lost to Ferrer and Almagro in the past couple of weeks on clay,so hes beatable even against players not named Nole or Stan?

metan Says:

Hope Rafa can carry on this momentum until final.
Campaign, Rafa!

the DA Says:

The physio is out to treat Milos’ shoulder… after one game. I guess that’s going to be a recurrent issue for someone so reliant on their serve.

Sean Randall Says:

Great win for Nishikori. Will Rafa get over the Friday hump and beat Berdych tomorrow (he’s lost his last two clay Fridays!)

And has Almagro won a match since beating Nadal? He lost to Murray who just got clobbered by Giraldo.

contador Says:

Very disappointing that Grigor could not take on the great Rafa. But the kid couldn’t get by Berdych – kudos to Berdych on the win. However I absolutely have not an ounce of belief at all in Berdych beating Rafa. Rafa would have to have a very off day to lose to Berdych – which could I guess happen like vs Stan at AO. It would be a big surprise for Berdych to somehow win though.

Giraldo is a top shelf (almost) on clay. Did not get to see the match. Does not surprise me that Andy lost to Giraldo, though.

Kei Nishikori is still on a clay roll. I see he edged by Raonic.

Hippy Chic Says:

I hope Kei can carry on this run hes having?

Hippy Chic Says:

Contador Well i wont be taking it for granted that Rafa will beat Berdych,especially given whats happened the past couple of weeks against Almagro and Ferrer,nobody thoght he would lose against either of those players but he did,but then again who knew?

Giles Says:

Happy Friday Rafa!
Vamos Champ!

Hippy Chic Says:

Dominic Thiem has pulled out with illness….

Okiegal Says:


I won’t take it for granted either……Hope Rafa gets past Berdy, but one never knows……I have been surprised this week by some of the winners and losers and with the withdraws. We will see! I think it’s anyone’s tourney at this point.

On a happier note……vintage Rafa, first set! Keep it up!

the DA Says:

Andy always loses to big hitters in Madrid, i.e. Bellucci, Berdych. Not a shock result IMO. What makes me laugh right now is how everyone is fixated on his smiling during matches – yesterday and today. First they want him to smile more, now that he does they’re all “what’s with the smiling”? He never gets a break. hehe

I would like to see some more fire from him. Soon.

Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal lol vintage Rafa yesterday,and for about a set and a half today,then he went walk about,Andy pftt no comment,shame about Dominic pulling out with illness,there is some really tasty talented players coming through this week,dissapointed about Grigor who i know you like too, but delighted about Kei coming through that tricky one againgst Raonic,you like Grigor and i like Kei so the online frienship might end once these younlings start to make some big statements lol?just kidding :))….

Daniel Says:

Will Nadal lose another Friday to a guy he totally own on clay?! Nahh
That would be the shock of the year if indeed happens.

He got one scare today being 4-4, BP down to Niemenen, but that was it.

Giles Says:

Okiegal. Keep the faith.

Okiegal Says:

@Chic…….so glad you are kidding. I still believe I’m adult enough to be respectful of someone else’s favorite player, and I know you are too! I’m not ready to give up on the top 5 or 6 yet!! I will have to see lots of consistency among the young guns before I can even think that they are the real deal! If the top guys fall by the wayside coz of injuries…age etc……we will start seeing new winners, but I’m of the opinion it won’t be one or two players taking top honors at the tournaments it will be a mix of players.

Polo Says:

If there’s anybody Berdych dreads to play against other than any player in any final match, it is probably Nadal.

Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal yeah consistency is the key,i wonder if the next era will be as dominant as this one,or maybe we wont have players that consistent anymore,and maybe thats not such a bad thing,all a matter of preferance/opinion i suppose?

A Tango Lad Says:

As like most tournaments these days, the results are on the No. 1’s racquet. However, his racquet is in dire need of a restring as of late.

HC, I see an end to this golden era.

Should another great emerge in the next few years, history could repeat and we could see Roger’s record challenged once more!

I just hope that does not occur.

Hippy Chic Says:

Nice to see the great Christiano Ronaldo enjoying watching Rafa today,one great sporting legend watching another :))….

Okiegal Says:


I do like to “keep the faith”……but sometimes I’m forced to be realistic…..keeping the faith depends on my guy’s performance as of late…….He has bombed out in the last two tourneys so I can’t be too complacent in my thinking that he will just win every tournament because he is the undisputed king of clay. Do I want him to?? Yes I do and I hope he bites another trophy in Madrid……even though it is rather weird looking……but it is a title!!

Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal DITTO LOL….

Okiegal Says:


You “LOL” my comments more than our resident comedian, Humble Rafa. I wonder if he’s jealous?
Tee hee……..

skeezer Says:

Rafs is going to bite the Madrid trophy. The stars are aligned(so is the draw).

andrea Says:

given the clay season has been nothing but upsets for nadal, who wants to put money on berdych finally overcoming nadal?

Okiegal Says:


Took a 2nd look at 6:05 post…….didn’t know who OKG was for a minute……I finally woke up and came to the party…….hey, that’s me! Lol I hope he does, but I’m not counting my chickens just yet, Berdy can cause him problems just like the others have. He should win it all, but I think Rafa has lost a step lately. Confidence level is lacking a bit, imo.

Margot Says:

@the DA
An awful lot has gone on in Andy’s life over the past year, from Ross’cancer, to winning Wimbles after a million years, to a back op that could’ve wrecked his career, to Lendl quitting, to Bally’s death.
I’m not really surprised he’s all over the place. He’s not an emotionless robot. I hope he goes to the funeral and spends some time with his family grieving.
Just hope he gets his mojo back b4 too long.

the DA Says:

@Margot – It’s true he has had a lot to deal with. It’s clear from his interview that he’s also still blue about losing Lendl. I know the Bally has had an impact. Bally, Jamie Baker, Colin Fleming and the Murray brothers were all childhood friends; all under the guidance of Judy. I think after grieving he needs to accelerate the search for a coach. It will probably be the perfect catalyst for reclaiming the mojo.

Humble Rafa Says:

Doctor says I need a healthy dose of bagels and bread sticks. I am eating all I can get.

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