Nadal Blasts Berdych To Reach Madrid SFs; Serena Withdraws, Nishikori Into Top 10
by Staff | May 9th, 2014, 10:25 pm

Rafael Nadal revved up his vaunted clay game Friday in Madrid by hammering Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the semifinals. Rafa has now beaten Berdych 17 straight times and after a disappointing April, this week in Madrid he hasn’t lost a set or faced a set point.

“It was a match with a lot of intensity, and perhaps it was my toughest match in the tournament,” said Nadal. “I knew that I had to go a step forward [level-wise]. I think that I did it pretty well. I played pretty well during a long time. To make it to the semi-finals for first time in the clay season, here in Madrid, is great news for me.”

Nadal now plays fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut who scorched Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 6-4 to reach his first Masters 1000 semifinal.

“I’m really happy for it being here in Madrid and [to make] it to the semi-finals, playing against one of the best players of history,” said the 26-year-old Bautista Agut. “I am very happy for the current moment that I have, for the tennis that I am playing right now, and especially for being just well.”

The win put Bautista Agut into the Top 30 and gives him a seeding for the French Open.

In the second men’s semifinal, David Ferrer meets Barcelona winner Kei Nishikori in a rematch of their Miami clash won by the Japanese in a final set breaker.

More importantly for Nishikori, his 6-4, 6-4 win today over Feliciano Lopez cracks him into the top 10.

“It was a big goal for me to get in Top 10,” said Nishikori. “I have to keep playing better tennis and keep this ranking.”

Ferrer eased into the semifinals with a 7-6, 6-3 win over Ernests Gulbis.

“These two matches I’ve been playing really well,” said Ferrer who defeated John Isner in straight sets Thursday. “I’m happy because of the level I’ve been showing. After the first match this week, I was a little bit nervous. In Monte Carlo I had good feelings. This week I have had those good feelings once again.”

The women also played their quarterfinals and the big news was defending champion Serena Williams withdrawing from her match against Petra Kvitova with a left thigh injury.

“I have a left thigh injury and, unfortunately, have to withdraw from this year’s Mutua Madrid Open,” Serena said. “It happened during my first round match. It started to get better, but most importantly right now, I just need some time to rest and recover.

“It’s beyond words. It’s so frustrating. We couldn’t ask for a better tournament and I love it here in Madrid. I love being a champion here. Manolo Santana and his team put on a great tournament. This is not the way I wanted this week to end.

“I am planning to play in Rome. Fortunately, I have a bye next week so will have an extra day of rest,” Williams added. “For now, I will take it one day at a time and take advantage of some extra rest.”

Kvitova will play her semifinal against Simona Halep, a 6-2, 6-2 winner over former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic.

In the second semi, Maria Sharapova faces Agnieszka Radwanska. Sharapova overcame a set down to beat Li Na 2-6, 7-6, 6-3 while the Radwanska ended Caroline Garcia’s run 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. Sharapova has won nine of 11 against the Polish No. 1 taking all three on clay.


MANOLO SANTANA start 11:30 am
WTA – [5] P Kvitova (CZE) vs [4] S Halep (ROU)
Not Before 1:00 pm
WTA – [3] A Radwanska (POL) vs [8] M Sharapova (RUS)
Not Before 3:30 pm
ATP – [1] R Nadal (ESP) vs R Bautista Agut (ESP)
Not Before 7:00 pm
ATP – [10] K Nishikori (JPN) vs [5] D Ferrer (ESP)
WTA – Doubles Final – [WC] G Muguruza (ESP) / C Suarez Navarro (ESP) vs [2] S Errani (ITA) / R Vinci (ITA)

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34 Comments for Nadal Blasts Berdych To Reach Madrid SFs; Serena Withdraws, Nishikori Into Top 10

Maestro Fed Says:

Every year Nadal reaches his peak at MC and maintains that level till RG.
This year i get a feeling that he has delayed his onslaught by 4 weeks.

Michael Says:

If only Berdych had developed stomach cramps at the begining of this match, he could saved himself of this agony of a 17th straight loss to Rafa on court. It is really incredible to watch Rafa make such short work of a player like Berdych and make him look totally lost in court. That shows the kind of domination he has had over him which is simply amazing considering that Berdych is a top class player.

metan Says:

LOL. What a post! Hahahahaha. You made my day.

metan Says:

My King and My Prince.
Vamos, both of you can show the world that your presence on tennis tour are worthy.

Hippy Chic Says:

Big congrats to Kei for cracking the top 10,and as much as like Ferrer whos one of the nicest hardest working most tenacious players on the mens tour,im pulling for Kei to back up what he did in Barcelona last week,against Lopez he played beautifully stiking the ball very cleanly,he is a player who makes the game look easy,but also shows mental strength no negative body language when things are going against him like yesterday at times,he has all the makings of a future GS champion IMO….

the DA Says:

The Rome draw is live. Nadal and Wawrinka in the top half, Djokovic and Federer in the bottom. Potential QFs: Nadal-Murray, Wawrinka-Berdych, Federer-Raonic, Djokovic-Ferrer.

Margot Says:

@ the DA
“Potential QF Nadal-Murray?”…..I wish :(

courbon Says:

@ DA: Thanks for info.

Hippy Chic Says:

Hopefully Noles over his injury then now?

the DA Says:

@Margot – hehe…I hear you. First match is Granollers or Lopez, then Isner/Cilic. Under normal circumstances completely doable. But floundering & sad Andy, I’m not so sure. I just hope the first match isn’t on his birthday (again). #smallmercies

the DA Says:

@courbon – No problem. BTW, did you see Nole’s tweet a few minutes ago? He has confirmed he’s on his way to Rome.

Hippy Chic Says:

Sharapova v Halep for the title,Sharapovas road to the title always gets easier when Serena is not in her way,shame that the much more talented Agie wasnt able to put up more of a fight,such is the story on the WTA….

Perfect fan Says:

Rafa has been a proficient assassin so far in madrid….good to see him back in such rich form just at the right time before RG.

Also I m so happy for kei….a player, I always knew belongs to the top 10 club. His confidence is growing with every tournament….he’s gonna be a dark horse at the french open, I mus say. Also gulbis was impressive till he hit the old war horse, ferrer.

ferrer vs kei will be a cracker of a contest….on paper, ferrer may be the fav but I like kei’s chances here.

skeezer Says:

Ahhhhhh…..Madrid. My favorite Clay tournament. This current match is the best ever. The Ball Girls are playing fantastic. The best ever match, the way the run to the ball, the footwork, the picking up and tossing of balls. Perfection.
The players? Meh.

Perfect fan Says:

fed’s decision to play at rome or not will come at the last sec….ohh this suspence :(

fed do play man….i no I m being selfish, but I m dying to see u in live action….puhleeeeease!

btw, pls post the pics of ur newborns asap :)

metan Says:

Yooohoo, Rafa is in the final. Vamos , Rafa!

Alexandra Says:

I prefer Kei in the Top 10 to guys like Isner or Raonic. Hope he can establish himself there for longer now.

volley Says:

“fed’s decision to play at rome or not will come at the last sec”

don’t worry he will be there. he has 600 points and will be very reluctant to forfeit that many. the nannies can look after mirka and the new borns.

Okiegal Says:

Kei has called out the trainer……hip problem again?

Giles Says:

Who said its only Rafa that has MTO’s???

contador Says:

Kei wow baby!!! wooooooooot

Will be a Nadakori final

Spectacle of a mantch, Kie and Daveed.

youyong Says:

That was a crazy dramatic match! 10 MPs to finish it. Would have been heartbreaking if he couldn’t close it out finally. Well done Kei! Not sure if he has enough left in the tank for the finals though.

the DA Says:

That was some match. Such a shame Kei is going to have nothing left. It’s going to be brutal tomorrow. I doubt he makes it to Rome. 3 MTOs. Nevertheless, if he can keep the injuries to a minimum he will be an exciting addition to the top 10 and shakes thing up a bit.

Margot Says:

Terrifically exciting match. In fact, very like a Murray match, but without the usual excruciating pain…..wouldn’t u agree DA?…..;)

Polo Says:

Walkover finals tomorrow?

the DA Says:

@Margot – Yes, agree. It reminded me of the Rome 2011 SF. #sigh #goodolddays

the DA Says:

@Margot – Yes, agree. It reminded me of the Rome 2011 SF. #sigh #goodolddays

the DA Says:

Oops. Clicked submit twice by accident. Apologies.

courbon Says:

@ DA: I’m not on twitter so I didn’t know. That’s a good news. I do not expect Novak to win Rome, he will go easy and apart from Nadal, there is lots of players as a treat. But to get ready for RG is what is important. Unfortunatelly, Nadal is getting his mojo back…ces la vie.

Hippy Chic Says:

Courbon but he hasnt won the title yet,and theres no guarantee either,and Nishikori has played really well this week,and he also won Barcelona last week,if Novaks back to his best and over the injury then im glad for him and his fans,but thats unfortunate for Nadal….

courbon Says:

@ Hippy: Bad Novak, good for Nadal, good Nadal, bad for Novak…catch 22-they can have success in the same time. (-:

Hippy Chic Says:

Courbon lol yet very true ;))….

Hippy Chic Says:

But good Novak is always bad for Nadal too….

Hippy Chic Says:

Courbon i dont know if Rafa has found his mojo,as Rafa fans were reminded this was a depleted field anyway,win or loose this final hes proved nothing….

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