Nadal Saves 4 MPs v Goffin, Alcaraz Next At Madrid Masters; Djokovic Gets Pass From Murray
by Staff | May 5th, 2022, 9:21 pm

After a disappointing start to the third round at the Madrid Masters, things heated up nicely thanks to home hopes Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz.

Nadal made one of his greatest career comebacks saving four match points to deny David Goffin.

Nadal, who is playing in his first clay event since the French Open last year, recovered from an early break at the start of the match, then got into cruise control early on but he faltered trying to serve it out in the second.

Neither play could mount an assault in the third until the breaker. Nadal would take a 4-1 lead until Goffin inexplicably would win five straight games to hold two match points at 6-4. But after tense exchanges, it was Nadal coming through on his fourth match points, saving four himself to advance
6-3, 5-7, 7-6(9) and reach his 16th Madrid quarterfinal, 99th Masters quarter.

“It was an unforgettable night,” said Nadal. “For me today, in some ways it has been an inspiration in the way I have been fighting all my tennis career.

“Honestly, it was a very tough match. I think I played at a very high level. But at the same time I am not completely happy because I have to finish the match in straight sets, without a doubt.

“Three hours and 10 on court, that helps to increase my physical performance,” he continued. “A very important victory, saving match points. That’s confidence, that gives me the chance to keep going. I need matches and I need a day like to day to be fitter sooner.”

He’ll need that confidence for tomorrow as he takes on the the heir apparent Carlos Alcaraz. Celebrating his 19th birthday, the teen added even more thrills to the Spanish fans securing an early break in the third to pace a 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-3 victory over Cameron Norrie.

Alcaraz mix of pace with touch was too much in the end for the Brit who couldn’t convert a 0-40 on Alcaraz’s serve in the third. The Indian Wells rematch is now set.

“I lost twice against him and I wanted to play against him the third time,” Alcaraz said facing Nadal. “I think it’s going to be different from last year and the last match that we played. I’m excited to play against Rafa here in Madrid in front of the Spanish crowd. It’s going to be a great day and a great match.”

The day began with Andy Murray unable to go in a big showdown against Novak Djokovic. Murray came down with a stomach issue which prevent a first meeting with Djokovic in over four years.

Djokovic will now face Hubert Hurkacz who topped Dusan Lajovic 7-5, 6-3.

Monte Carlo winner Stefanos Tsitsipas moved on rolling past an in-form Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 6-4. The Greek now gets Andrey Rublev who bested Dan Evans in straights.

Defending champion Alexander Zverev got a retirement from Lorenzo Musetti who was trailing 6-3, 1-0 when a thigh injury forced the Italian to quit.

Zverev will now take on Felix Auger-Aliassime who knocked out Jannik Sinner in surprising fashion 6-1, 6-2.

“Me playing really well and him missing a few more balls than he should on top of that, I think it just created a big difference,” Auger-Aliassime said.

Seven of the eight quarterfinalist are Top 10 seeds.

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3 Comments for Nadal Saves 4 MPs v Goffin, Alcaraz Next At Madrid Masters; Djokovic Gets Pass From Murray

skeezer Says:

Alcaraz great win over Nadal. The kid is good.

chrisford1 Says:

I was stoked to see Andy and Novak playing again for the -1st-Time-In-5-Years!! That seemed surreal, that it had been so long and brought home how hard Andy’s injuries have been.
Then of course, Andy has a stomach bug and can’t play.

But then Alcaraz beats Rafa and while another Rafa-Novak match would be nice – this moment in time is becoming the Arrival of Alcaraz. Now he plays Djokovic for the 1st time.

zed Says:

I must admit to wondering whether we are seeing the turning point. The time when the big three, or big four if you include Andy, are done.

Maybe it’ll be more of a back and forth transition over the next two years rather than a hard transition this year.

I really want Novak to beat Alcaraz but I don’t think I’d put money on it in this tournament. In a Slam with 5 sets, I would still bet on Novak for now. The French and Wimbeldon will be very telling.

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