ATP Madrid: Rafael Nadal beats Alcaraz to get the 3rd round

In the women's singles, Ashleigh Barty defeats Kvitova to reach the semifinal

by Lorenzo Ciotti
ATP Madrid: Rafael Nadal beats Alcaraz to get the 3rd round

At the ATP Mutua Madrid Open 2021, Carlos Alcaraz had the honor and the burden of facing his greatest idol for the first time in his career: Rafael Nadal. The most exciting game of his life turned out to be even more complicated than expected due to the slight abdominal injury suffered during a magnificent exchange won with the muscles by Nadal.

The young Spanish talent started with courage and immediately had the chance to break the 20-time Grand Slam champion, but the forehand sent under the net he reduced his expectations. The Mallorcan conceded the crumbs to the player born in 2003, who only won the sixth game, and brought the first set to his side.

In the second set, things didn't change and Nadal never lost his fighting spirit despite the clear advantage. Unlike the first portion of the game, Alcaraz took away the satisfaction of snatching the serve from world number two in the fourth game by finding the lines with the forehand.

However, Alcaraz left the field to applause; that field that in the future can give him great satisfaction. Final score 6-1 6-2 for Rafa. Alexander Zverev beat Kei Nishikori, although the Japanese was also the first of the two to get the break advantage, but on the very best he lost the next two games at bat and allowed Zverev to win the first set.

In the second half of the game, the Japanese did not have a chance and left the Masters 1000 in Madrid with a clear defeat. He did not play one of the best games of his career Jannik Sinner, who remedied a bad defeat against Alexei Popyrin.

The Australian played a bad batting game at the beginning of the match and was unable to worry the South Tyrolean in response until 5-4, when Sinner had the opportunity to serve for the set, but ran into a series of mistakes with the forehand and lost orientation.

The tie-break with which Popyrin won the set is a clear picture of the match of the Italian, who started well but then ended badly. In the second set, after operating the immediate counter-break at the opening, Sinner completely shut down and handed his opponent four games in a row.

The Australian managed the lead carefully and took one of the most important victories of his career. In the round of 16, Popyrin will face Rafael Nadal. In the women's singles, Australian Ashleigh Barty reached the semi-finals of the Mutua Madrid Open 2021 after winning 6-1 3-6 6-3 against Petra Kvitova.

Ash dominated the first half of the game, in which she left only one game to her rival, and she won almost double the Czech player's points. In the second set, Kvitova took home the first three tough games by masterfully canceling three break points.

The advantage accumulated in the first minutes of the second set, allowed her to take the dispute to the third. A third set that Barty played at a very high level and won 6-3. This is the eighth victory in a row for the Australian champion.

Barty and Badosa met for the first time in their careers in Charleston on April 9th ​​and the Spanish player won with a score of 6-4, 6-3. Barty said in the press conference: "Third set winning streak? It's just about staying in the fight and not letting the game slip away.

I think it's important not to panic, but we each have our own way of handling emotions. “I'm always quite calm on the pitch, I've always had this attitude. Petra and I respect each other as players and as people. I respect her immensely for the person who is off the pitch.

I started the match particularly well today; she, however, struggled to find the pitch in the first set. In the second set, Petra served very well, even the depth of her second serve impressed me. In the last set it was important to get the break in the first games to find the way. "

Atp Rafael Nadal Ashleigh Barty