Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Madrid: Murray, Nadal post wins first up

Second round matches in the men's draw in Madrid have commenced and that means that the eight top seeded players who had a bye in the first round have started dusting off their racquets for the first time.  Murray and Nadal were the first, and they successfully booked third round spots,  Murray having to win in three sets against Stepanek to do so.

Others to win second round matches were Raonic and Gasquet.  First round winners included seeds Monfils and Bautista Agut, while a number of those to do well in tournaments last week failed to carry that form into Spain.

Estoril champ Nicolas Almagro was dumped by Borna Coric 6-2 6-2.  Munich winner Philipp Kohlschreiber lost in a third set tie break to Pablo Cuevas.  Runner up in Munich, Dominic Thiem, 14th seed, lost to Juan Martin Del Potro.
Pablo Carreno Busta and Grigor Dimitrov, runners up in Estoril and Istanbul respectively, drew one another in Madrid's first round, and Dimitrov exited Spain as a result.

Women's seeds Halep, Suarez Navarro and Bacsinsky all progressed to the third round, while 11th seed Safarova wasn't allowed to continue her good form from the Prague title, having to withdraw before her scheduled match against Stosur.  Sam must be blessed as this is the second walkover in as many tournaments of which she has been the beneficiary.

Dominika Cibulkova, the slayer of top seed Radwanska in round one, was almost out for the count with France's Caroline Garcia winning 26 points to 12 in a first set 6-0 whitewash.  However the typical fight back expected from the Slovakian slugger occurred and Domi prevailed 0-6 6-3 6-4.    

Germany's Laura Siegemund continued her purple patch by reaching the third round, victor in three sets over veteran and fellow German Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.

Tomorrow, the tournament begins for several big names including the biggest Djokovic, along with co-stars Wawrinka, Tsonga and Nishikori.  What of Federer ?  Well he could possibly have been a quarter final obstacle for Nadal, but he has succumbed to his back injury and withdrawn from the tournament.  Points wise he won't drop much, as last year he lost early to Kyrgios, but doubts must be building as to his ability to cope with the rigours of Roland Garros starting in a few weeks time.

However despite no Roger there is plenty on offer - more to enjoy from Azarenka, Kvitova and Suarez Navarro as they strut their stuff once again, and also on display tomorrow Simona Halep v Timea Bacsinsky in potentially one of the matches of Madrid so far.

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