Rafael Nadal qualified for the quarter-finals of the Mutua Madrid Open 2021, thanks to the victory in in straights sets for 6-3 6-3 against Alexei Popyrin. The Australian wasted three consecutive break points that would have allowed him to extend 2-0 in the first set.
Instead, ahead 4-1 and serve, the 20 Grand Slam champion hit a bad drop shot and broke the serve for the first time. The Australian's last blast in the first set, and in the whole game in general, came in the eighth game, but Nadal was good at recovering from 0-30 and extinguishing his opponent's enthusiasm.
In the second set, there was only one player on the pitch, the same player who is considered by all to be the king of clay-courts. Now Rafa, in the quarters, will meet Alexander Zverev, who defeated Daniel Evans. Dominic Thiem beat Alex De Minaur, while John Isner eliminated Andrey Rublev.
Daniil Medvedev lost his match to Cristian Garin in three sets. Bad performance by Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Greek tennis player did not affect the most important moments of the game and suffered the solidity of Casper Ruud. Ashleigh Barty defeated Paula Badosa for 6-4 6-3 to reach the final of the WTA Mutua Madrid Open 2021.
Both players showed great solidity in serving and only the tenth game was able to permanently shift the balance. Badosa bravely saved two set points, but committed a painful double foul on the third and handed the set to her opponent.
At the start of the second set, Barty lost control of the backhand and found the worst game of his serving game, but immediately recovered the break from behind and put pressure on the young Spanish player, before closing the match and reaching the final, where she will face Aryna Sabalenka.
Belarus 6-2 6-3 defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. In the press conference Barty said: "I've learned a lot about clay in recent years, but I'm still counting down to the season on grass. The memories I'm recording on clay are fantastic.
You have to learn from every game, not. the opponent matters. I certainly learned a lot from the game I lost against Badosa in Charleston. I changed a little bit and I think I was able to better control my serving time and put more pressure on her in return. It was important to regain my strength. break behind at the beginning of the second set and take the lead again."