Moutet Wins Battle Of Estoril Open Rappers

Denis Shapovalov and Corentin Moutet (photo: @EstorilOpen/Twitter)

ESTORIL/WASHINGTON, April 30, 2021 (by Michael Dickens)

Tennis stars-turned-rappers Denis Shapovalov and Corentin Moutet, who collaborated on the rap song “Drip,” squared off in the ATP 250 Millennium Estoril Open Thursday on red clay in this Portuguese Riviera town near Lisbon. The No. 1 seed Shapovalov was stunned by the 73rd-ranked Moutet, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, with a berth in Friday’s quarterfinal round at stake.

Afterward, during an on-court interview, Moutet said, “It was a very close match. Today, I’m lucky that I won at the end. A few points decided the winner.”

Moutet’s victory against Shapovalov, ranked 14th in the world, was his second Top 20 triumph this year, while the Canadian was seeking to win for the first time as a top seed in an ATP Tour tournament. Shapovalov’s 2021 season win-loss record leveled at 8-8, including 1-2 on clay.

There was a difference of just three points during the two hour and six-minute match with Moutet coming out ahead of Shapovalov 87-84.

Moutet will face No. 7 seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain, who advanced over Pierre-Hugues Herbert from France, 6-2, 7-6 (3). Other Thursday winners were: No. 2 seed Cristian Garin of Chile by walkover against Richard Gasquet of France, who was suffering from an injured adductor; and Cameron Norrie of Great Britain beat Spanish wild card Pedro Martinez, 4-6, 7-6 (1), 7-5. On Friday, Garin will play Norrie, while other quarterfinals pair No. 6 seed Marin Cilic of Croatia against Kevin Anderson of South Africa and No. 3 seed Ugo Humbert of Frances takes on No. 8 seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain.

WTA Mutua Madrid Open: Kuznetsova out, Hercog in

The WTA Insider reported Thursday night that Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova had pulled out of the singles main draw of the WTA 1000 Mutua Madrid Open due to a hamstring injury suffered during practice. Her place will be taken by lucky loser Polona Hercog of Slovenia, who will face Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia in a first-round match.

Meanwhile, the lower half of the singles draw will play their first-round matches on Friday to complete the paring of the field from 64 to 32. There are 16 matches in all spread out among four courts. Among the five seeded players who will play their matches on Manolo Santana Stadium are: No. 2 Naomi Osaka, who plays fellow Japanese Misaki Doi; No. 3 Simona Halep, who faces Spanish wild card Sara Sorribes Tormo; No. 5 Aryna Sabalenka, who opposes Russian qualifier Vera Zvonareva; No. 6 Karolina Pliskova, who will be challenged by American teenager Coco Gauff; and No. 11 Jennifer Brady, who battles fellow American Venus Williams.

Click here for a complete Friday order of play.

Mutua Madrid Open completes ATP wild cards

Two final singles wild cards for the ATP Tour Masters 1000 Mutua Madrid Open were revealed on Thursday. Gaining main draw wild card entry is Jaume Munar and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, both of Spain. They join previously announced Spaniards Carlos Alcaraz and Fernando Verdasco.

The men’s singles qualifying draw begins Saturday and main draw singles play starts on Sunday at La Caja Mágica in Madrid.

Naomi Osaka: Good vibes

Doi and Aoyama: Check out their style

Who knew Japanese tennis stars Misaki Doi and Shuko Aoyama could dance? The Mutua Madrid Open tweeted a short video of Doi and Aoyama showing off their moves as part of International Dance Day on behalf of the Special Olympics.

Kim Clijsters: Contributing to a safer world

Hall of Famer Kim Clijsters tweeted a photo of her getting her first Covid-19 vaccination shot. “Playing my part in creating a safer world,” the Belgium star wrote on Twitter.

Happy 51st Birthday, Andre Agassi

By the numbers

What they’re sharing on social media

Paula Badosa /¡Primera victoria! Muy feliz por volver a veros,@MutuaMadridOpen

Iga Swiatek /Mączka – tęskniłam