Nadal knocked out as quarter-finals set in Madrid
Day two of the virtual Madrid Open saw the completion of the round robin matches with Andy Murray’s 3-0 victory over Rafael Nadal proving to be one of the big talking points. The Scot advances to the knockout stages with an unbeaten record so far, whilst the five-time champion Nadal is out of the competition.
Murray dominated his group, winning all three of his matches, and he will be joined in the quarter-finals by Benoit Paire, with Nadal and Shapovalov the casualties from that group. Elsewhere in the men’s draw, Stefanos Tsitsipas continued from where he left off at the end of day one, claiming a third consecutive 3-0 victory, this time over Frances Tiafoe. The Greek moves onto the next round, with Fabio Fognini, the group’s runner-up, also progressing.
At the start of the day it was announced that both Dominic Thiem and Karen Khachanov were forfeiting their places in the tournament due to issues with their internet connections. The prize fund from the virtual Madrid Open is set to be put towards helping lower ranked players during the suspension of the pro tours, but Thiem came under fire on Monday for comments he made when talking to an Austrian newspaper about efforts to raise relief funds. “No tennis player is fighting to survive, even those who are much lower-ranked. None of them are going to starve,” the world no. 3 said, “I don’t really see why I should give such players money. I would rather give money to people or organisations that really need it.”
Donations to upgrade Thiems internet?
— Chris Stevens (@TheLadfromAus) April 28, 2020
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On the WTA side, many of the competitors seemed to have been inspired by Belinda Bencic’s entrance video from day one and took it upon themselves to dress up for the occasion with full court attire and even racket bags.
— ESPN Tenis (@ESPNtenis) April 28, 2020
Whilst there was a race to outdo one another off the court, there was plenty of in game competitiveness too. Pliskova and Bencic engaged in some mild trash talk with the latter exclaiming, “You never hit this backhand in normal life!” before the Czech responded, “No, never. But you also never kill forehands in real life.” It was Bencic who came out on top, moving onto the next round alongside the group’s winner Fiona Ferro.
Meanwhile, there were dominant performances from Kiki Bertens (the 2019 Madrid Open champion), Sorana Cirstea and Caroline Wozniacki, who each topped their groups in style. The Dane, who retired from the sport earlier this year, said, “I just got my PlayStation a few days ago, so I guess I’m a natural.”
The full quarter-final line-ups for Wednesday are as follows:
Andy Murray vs Alexander Zverev
Diego Schwartzman vs Fabio Fognini
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs David Ferrer
David Goffin vs Benoit Paire
Fiona Ferro vs Donna Vekic
Sorana Cirstea vs Bianca Andreescu
Caroline Wozniacki vs Johanna Konta
Kiki Bertens vs Belinda Bencic
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