Nadal Wins Clay Opener At Madrid Masters; Djokovic v Murray Thurs.
by Staff | May 4th, 2022, 8:44 pm
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Rafael Nadal made his long-awaited return to his favorite surface. and The King of Clay didn’t disappoint his home fans easing past Miomir Kecmanovic 6-1, 7-6(4) to reach the third round at the Madrid Masters.

Nadal didn’t show much in the of rust after being off the tour for six weeks due to a rib injury. The 5-time Madrid champion dominated the opener against a very in-form Kecmanovic, then held on for the straight set win in his first clay match in 11 months.

“Every comeback is different. We had to put all circumstances together to analyze every single comeback, and today has been a very important match for me, playing at home on clay against a player that has been playing well for the past couple of months,” Nadal said in his post-match press conference.

“Put everything together, a very tough first round,” Nadal added. “I think I managed it very well. I played at a good level, so ery pleased with the victory. I just try to stay humble to know things not going to be perfect here and just moving forward with the right determination, to accept that I need to fight, I need to stay positive. I need to play with the right attitude, and take every single match that I’m able to win like a present to play another time here.”

Next for Nadal will be David Goffin who topped Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp 6-4, 6-2.

Defending champion Alexander Zverev came from a set down to defeat Marin Cilic 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. Monte Carlo winner Stefanos Tsitsipas advanced over Lucas Pouille 6-3, 6-4.

Jannik Sinner, Hubert Hurkacz and Felix Auger-Aliassime were also winners.

There were a few mild upsets as Lorenzo Musetti outclassed Sebastian Korda 6-4, 6-3. Dan Evans eliminated Roberto Bautista Agut, Grigor Dimitrov crushed Diego Schwartzman and Dusan Lajovic upended Casper Ruud.

Tomorrow, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray will meet for a first time in over four years. Djokovic leads 25-11.

“I have seen a few of his matches,” Djokovic said. “He’s moving well, playing better and better. It’s really fantastic to see, because he’s an important player for our game. He’s made his mark in the history of our sport by winning multiple slams and gold medals and No. 1 of the world. He’s one of the most important names that we have.

“To have him still compete is great, and to have him even play at the high level as the time goes by is impressive, considering the surgery and what he has been through in the last few years. His resilience and fighting spirit is really inspiring.”

Carlos Alcaraz returns to face Cameron Norrie and Tsitsipas faces Dimitrov and Zverev meets Musetti.

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