Could it be an Andy Murray-Rafael Nadal gold medal match come Sunday? The two rivals and two former gold medalists moved one step closer to a showdown with good wins Tuesday afternoon at the Rio Olympics.
Murray, the 2012 gold medalist, had no trouble at all dispatching Argentine Juan Monaco 6-3, 6-1. The win was Murray’s 14th straight overall, 8th straight at the Olympics.
“It was good today. I hit the ball well from the back of the court, not many unforced errors so it was a good match,” said Murray.
Tomorrow, he’ll face Fabio Fognini after the Italian saved matchpoints in a 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(5) victory over Benoit Paire.
Murray and Fognini have split both their meetings.
Rafael Nadal was on next on Center and the 2008 gold medalist didn’t disappoint scoring a tough 6-3, 6-3 win over Italy’s Andreas Seppi.
“This is an event you only play once every four years so that makes the emotions even higher,” said Nadal. “I am enjoying [it] on court and at the same time not too much pressure for me. After two months not competing I don’t expect much. I just expect to enjoy the Olympic experience again and that’s what I am doing.”
Nadal will test Gilles Simon Wednesday. The two have met eight times before the Rafa winning seven.
Other matches today saw Steve Johnson beating Gastao Elias. His great draw continues in the third round against Evegeny Donskoy who knocked out David Ferrer.
And Thomaz Bellucci thrilled the home fans winning in three over Pablo Cuevas. He’ll face David Goffin.
Also Thursday, Juan Martin del Potro resumes his bid for gold against the surprising Taro Daniel. Daniel isn’t the only Japanese player in action, Kei Nishikori battles Andrej Martin.
Gael Monfils also faces Marin Cilic and Roberta Bautista Agut gets Gilles Muller.
The doubles also resumes and the mixed starts up, and Nadal is scheduled in both of those events. Rafa will play his men’s doubles semifinals and also a mixed match with Garbine Muguruza. So he and that left wrist will play three matches in one day!
“Very happy to be in the semifinals, but especially happy to be in the semifinals with one of my best friends,” Nadal said. “We are enjoying the matches, we are enjoying a lot the weeks here in Rio. We are enjoying the Olympic experience, we are very happy about what’s happening.”
WEDNESDAY RIO OLYMPICS SCHEDULE
CENTRE COURT, 10:45am Start
(7) KEYS Madison (USA) vs KASATKINA Daria (RUS)
not before 12:30
(3) NADAL Rafael (ESP) vs (15) SIMON Gilles (FRA)
FOGNINI Fabio (ITA) vs (2) MURRAY Andy (GBR)
not before 18:45
(15) SVITOLINA Elina (UKR) vs (11) KVITOVA Petra (CZE)
(6) MONFILS Gael (FRA) vs (9) CILIC Marin (CRO)
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