Three Seeds Remain In Estoril Open Contention

Cameron Norrie (photo: @EstorilOpen/Twitter)

ESTORIL/WASHINGTON, May 1, 2021 (by Michael Dickens)

As Saturday’s semifinal round of the ATP 250 Millennium Estoril Open arrives in the Portuguese Riviera town near Lisbon, there are three seeds remaining in competition for the clay-court title leading into next week’s Mutua Madrid Open.

No. 6 seed Marin Cilic of Croatia will face unseeded and 50th-ranked Cameron Norrie of Great Britain in the first semifinal on Estadio Millennium followed by the second semifinal matching No. 7 seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas versus No. 8 seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, both from Spain.

On Friday, No. 42 Cilic advanced to his second semifinal of the season after taking the first set from unseeded, 105th-ranked Kevin Anderson, 7-6 (7). Anderson was forced into retirement after injuring his left adductor. Cilic is in search of his first ATP title since 2018. Meanwhile, Norrie upset No. 2 seed Cristian Garin of Chile, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, needing two hours and 28 minutes to beat the World No. 22. Norrie improved his win-loss record this season to 15-8, including 6-1 on clay.

“Garin is always so tough on the clay and I think [it’s] one of my best wins every on the clay,” said Norrie during an on-court interview following his victory. “It was a battle. He came out a bit sharper than me. I managed to play a good return game in the second set to break there and held my serve and played some of my best tennis of the week at the 3-2, 4-2 games.”

Later, the 46th-ranked Ramos-Vinolas beat No. 73 Corentin Moutet of France, 6-4, 6-3, winning on his third match-point opportunity to reach his fourth semifinal of the season. It improved his lifetime win-loss record against left-handers 48-27. Finally, the 48th-ranked Davidovich Fokina took out No. 3 seed Ugo Humbert of France, ranked 31st, 6-4, 6-4.

WTA Mutua Madrid Open second round begins

The second round of the WTA 1000 Mutua Madrid Open gets underway Saturday at La Caja Mágica. There are eight matches on the order of play and five of them will be contested on Manolo Santana Stadium, the biggest of the three show courts.

World No. 1 and top seed Ashleigh Barty begins the day by facing 80th-ranked Slovenian qualifier Tamara Zidansek, who was a finalist on clay at Bogota in early April. Barty will take a 21-3 win-loss record into her 25th match of the season, while Zidansek will be seeking her first Top 10 career victory.

Other seeds in action include: No. 7 Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands, who takes on No. 28 Veronika Kudermetova of Russia; No. 8 Belinda Bencic of Switzerland faces American qualifier Bernarda Pera, ranked 70th; No. 9 Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, who opposes No. 26 Angelique Kerber of Germany; No. 14 Iga Swiatek of Poland, who will play German qualifier Laura Siegemund, ranked 59th; and No. 15 Johanna Konta of Great Britain, who is matched against 54tth-ranked Latvian qualifier Anastasija Sevastova.

The other matches pair No. 40 Jil Teichmann of Switzerland, who two days ago upset No. 4 seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, against 62nd-ranked Spanish wild card Paula Badosa, and No. 25 Ons Jabeur of Tunisia against No. 51 Sloane Stephens of the United States.

ATP Mutua Madrid Open qualifying begins

Two days of singles qualifying for the ATP Masters 1000 Mutua Madrid Open begins Saturday at La Caja Mágica. All 14 seeds of the 28-player draw are in the Top 100. Top seed is No. 49 Laslo Djere of Serbia, followed by No. 2 Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan, ranked 59th; No. 3 Jordan Thompson of Australia, ranked 61st; and No. 4 Tennys Sandgren of the United States, ranked 62nd.

Nadal top seed in ATP Mutua Madrid Open draw

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal is the top seed in next week’s ATP Masters 1000 Mutua Madrid Open at La Caja Mágica in Madrid.

Nadal is a five-time Madrid champion, who has also reached three other Mutua Madrid finals. No. 2 seed is World No. 3 Daniil Medvedev of Russia followed by No. 3 seed Dominic Thiem of Austria, ranked fourth; and No. 4 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, ranked fifth.

Nadal’s path to a possible sixth Madrid championship could include NextGenATP 17-year-old rising Spanish star Carlos Alcaraz in the second round followed by former NextGenATP champion Jannik Sinner of Italy in the third round. A possible quarterfinal opponent is World No. 6 and fifth seed Alexander Zverev and Nadal could meet Thiem in the semifinals. Medvedev and Tsitsipas are likely finalists from the lower half of the draw.

Catching up with Serena Williams

The Way Back Machine / Monica Seles, April 30, 1993

What they’re telling Tennis  TourTalk

Misaki Doi on the challenge of playing Naomi Osaka Friday in the first round of the WTA’s Mutua Madrid Open and what makes her such a great competitor: “Before the match, I was thinking this was a good opportunity. I had played two matches on clay court here and I had confidence in playing Naomi. She’s such a good player. I think I started well. If I could have held myself [together] more, I would have had a better chance.

“She has big shots, a big serve, a good backhand. She has a lot of power – this is I think this is a big thing. Compared to me, her serve is a big thing.”

Osaka defeated Doi 7-5, 6-2.