October 8, 2015

Andy Murray Beats Rafael Nadal to Earn Madrid Masters Title

Andy Murray with Madrid trophy

(May 10, 2015) Andy Murray defeated Rafael Nadal on clay for the first time in his career on Sunday, 6-3, 6-2 to win his second Madrid Open. Just six days ago Murray claimed his first career clay tournament in Munich.

For Murray it was his 10th Masters Series title, first on clay and 33rd overall career tennis title.

Murray is undefeated since getting married on April 11 to his long-time girlfriend Kim Sears.

After his victory, Murray signed the TV camera glass with the words “Marriage Works.”

“Obviously the tennis has gone well (since the marriage),” Murray said. “You’re happy and that helps your performances on the court.”

“Today I was just more consistent, Murray said of the match. “In the second set Rafa was starting to play better at the beginning and the middle part. But I stayed strong in that period of the match and he started to make some mistakes at the end that he wouldn’t normally make. That obviously helped me finish the match.

“I wasn’t expecting this a couple of weeks ago, so when things are unexpected, it feels nicer. I didn’t feel like I put too much pressure on myself the last couple of weeks, which is a good thing. But obviously to win a Masters 1000 on clay is a step in the right direction. It’s something I had never done before. So that’s good progress there.”

“For me it was obviously a very tough match, you know winning against Rafa on clay is extremely difficult, one of the hardest things in tennis,” Murray added. “From my side it was a very good performance. I’m sure Rafa feels he could have played much better. But from my side, I couldn’t have done much more.”

“This wasn’t the game I wanted to play, but I tried to the very end,” Nadal explained. “Still, it was a very important and positive week for me, I recovered sensations that I hadn’t felt in a long time.”

“I’ve pushed Rafa on the clay a few times,” Murray said. “This (win) obviously gives me confidence.”

“I’ve played a couple good matches [this week], especially yesterday’s match,” Nadal said. “It’s one of the best matches I have played in a long time. So I cannot leave Madrid not happy. I have to leave happy and just delete what happened today. I will just stay with the good things that happened this week, and there are a lot of them, more good than bad. I will try to recover the good feelings in Rome. I think I’ve made a step forward and I’m playing better. My game is better.”

With the loss, Nadal’s ranking will fall to No 7 as of Monday. Murray’s ranking remains at No. 3. Both men will play the Rome Masters this week.

Petra Kvitova won the women’s title on Saturday beating Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-1, 6-2. The world No. 4 ended the 27-match unbeaten of Serena Williams on Friday.


Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova Upset in Madrid Open Semis

Serena shrugs

(May 8, 2015) Top seed Serena Williams lost her first match of 2015, falling to two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the semifinals of the Madrid Open on Friday 6-2, 6-3. Earlier in the day, defending champion Maria Sharapova was ousted by Russian countrywoman Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4, 6-4.

For the Czech Kvitova, it was her first win over the 19-time major champion. “For sure I’m happy I won today,” Kvitova said in her on-court interview. “I had never beaten her, so it’s a really special moment for me.”

“I think she just played well today,” Williams said. “I mean, she went for broke on every serve, every return. I hit some second serves, 170, 175, and she just hit them for winners. I was very slow off the mark. After my serve I wasn’t moving as well as I should have. You know, I wasn’t in it.

“I wasn’t Serena today. I think that was the main thing.”

The loss ended her 27-match unbeaten streak dating back to 2014. “I’m just exhausted today,” Williams said.

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova

For Kuznetsova it’s the first time in seven years that she beat Sharapova. “I’m just happy to be in the final,” said Kuznetsova,

“Today she had much more pop on her ball than I did, while I felt my shots were a bit too flat,” Sharapova said. ”

On the men’s side, Rafael Nadal, Tomas Berdych, Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori reached the men’s semifinals

Defending Madrid Open champion Nadal beat Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 6-4. Berdych defeated John Isner, 3-6, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (1).

“It’s great news to be in the semifinals, it’s a very positive result for me,” Nadal said. “I am pleased with the way I played this afternoon, very happy.”

“Very happy about the way things have worked out. I passed a test that was really important for me.”


WTA Singles – Semifinals

[4] P. Kvitova (CZE) d [1] S. Williams (USA) 62 63
S. Kuznetsova (RUS) d [3] M. Sharapova (RUS) 62 64

WTA Doubles – Semifinals

[3] G. Muguruza (ESP) / C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) d K. Mladenovic (FRA) / K. Pliskova (CZE) 61 36 10-6
C. Dellacqua (AUS) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) d [7] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE) 75 36 10-7

ATP Singles – Quarter-Finals
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d [5] M. Raonic (CAN) 64 75
[3] R. Nadal (ESP) d [10] G. Dimitrov (BUL) 63 64
[4] K. Nishikori (JPN) d [7] D. Ferrer (ESP) 64 62
[6] T. Berdych (CZE) d [16] J. Isner (USA) 36 76(7) 76(1) – saved 1 M.P.

ATP Doubles – Quarter-Finals

[6] M. Granollers (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) d [3] V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) 26 01 ret. (Pospisil – Ankle Sprain)
[5] M. Matkowski (POL) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) d M. Cilic (CRO) / V. Troicki (SRB) 64 67(4) 13-11
R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) d J. Cabal (COL) / A. Mannarino (FRA) 63 62
[WC] F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) d J. Murray (GBR) / J. Peers (AUS) 64 67(1) 10-4


MANOLO SANTANA Start Not Before 3:00 pm
ATP – [6] T. Berdych (CZE) vs [3] R. Nadal (ESP)
Not Before 5:30 pm
WTA – Singles Final – [4] P. Kvitova (CZE) vs S. Kuznetsova (RUS)
Not Before 8:00 pm
ATP – [4] K. Nishikori (JPN) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)
WTA – Doubles Final – C. Dellacqua (AUS) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) vs [3] G. Muguruza (ESP) / C. Suárez Navarro (ESP)

ATP – R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) vs [6] M. Granollers (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP)
ATP – [5] M. Matkowski (POL) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) vs [WC] F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Mirnyi (BLR)


Halep, Bouchard and Venus Williams Fall in Madrid


madrid logo

(May 3, 2015) Seeds (2) Simona Halep, (6) Eugenie Bouchard and (16) Venus Williams lost in the opening round matches of the Madrid Open on Sunday.

The Romanian Halep, the biggest casualty of the day failed to take advantage of two set points in the first set before falling 7-6 (6), 6-3 to Alize Cornet of France.

It was business as usually for No. 1 Serena Williams, who only dropped one game in her match against Madison Brengle while defending champion defending champion Maria Sharapova advanced after stopping Timea Bacsinszky 6-2, 6-3.

Williams will take on Sloane Stephens, and Sharapova face qualifier Colombian Mariana Duque Marino.

“I don’t think I’ve played her on clay yet,” Williams said about Stephens. “We had a really tough three-set match the last time we played. She’s playing really well. She’s moving well and is having a better year this year. I think she’s kind of flying under the radar.”

Sister Venus Williams, lost Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 7-5.

Venus Williams, seeded 16th, went up a break at 4-3 in the second set, only for Azarenka to win four of the next five games.

Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic rallied from a 6-0, 3-0 deficit against Bouchard, 0-6, 6-3, 6-3, while former US Open champion Samantha Stosur served 14 aces to upset 12th seed Angelique Kerber, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. It’s Bouchard’s sixth straight loss.



MANOLO SANTANA start 11:00 am
WTA – S. Kuznetsova (RUS) vs G. Muguruza (ESP)
WTA – [5] C. Wozniacki (DEN) vs [Q] C. Mchale (USA)
Not Before 3:15 pm
ATP – B. Becker (GER) vs [11] F. Lopez (ESP)
ATP – F. Fognini (ITA) vs S. Giraldo (COL)
Not Before 8:00 pm
WTA – [1] S. Williams (USA) vs S. Stephens (USA)
Not Before 9:30 pm
ATP – J. Vesely (CZE) vs [9] M. Cilic (CRO)

WTA – C. Dellacqua (AUS) vs [9] A. Radwanska (POL)
Not Before 1:00 pm
ATP – A. Mannarino (FRA) vs [16] J. Isner (USA)
Not Before 3:00 pm
WTA – R. Vinci (ITA) vs A. Cornet (FRA)
WTA – [11] A. Petkovic (GER) vs I. Begu (ROU)
ATP – J. Chardy (FRA) vs [Q] T. Bellucci (BRA)
ATP – E. Gulbis (LAT) vs D. Goffin (BEL)

STADIUM 3 start 11:00 am
WTA – [13] L. Safarova (CZE) vs T. Pironkova (BUL)
Not Before 1:00 pm
ATP – S. Querrey (USA) vs [Q] T. Kokkinakis (AUS)
ATP – [Q] A. Gonzalez (COL) vs S. Johnson (USA)
ATP – J. Janowicz (POL) vs [LL] J. Sousa (POR)
ATP – B. Tomic (AUS) vs [Q] L. Vanni (ITA)

COURT 4 start 11:00 am
WTA – D. Jurak (CRO) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP) vs [WC] V. Dushevina (RUS) / M. Martínez Sánchez (ESP)
WTA – K. Kanepi (EST) vs S. Stosur (AUS)
WTA – A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / M. Niculescu (ROU) vs K. Mladenovic (FRA) / K. Pliskova (CZE)
WTA – After rest – A. Groenefeld (GER) / A. Panova (RUS) vs [3] G. Muguruza (ESP) / C. Suárez Navarro (ESP)
ATP – R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) vs M. Draganja (CRO) / H. Kontinen (FIN)

COURT 5 start 11:00 am
WTA – M. Krajicek (NED) / B. Strycova (CZE) vs [PR] J. Husarova (SVK) / I. Olaru (ROU)
Not Before 2:00 pm
WTA – [WC] M. Keys (USA) / L. Raymond (USA) vs M. Erakovic (NZL) / J. Goerges (GER)
WTA – After rest – C. Dellacqua (AUS) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) vs [6] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO)
WTA – TBA – [8] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) vs . Alternate / Unknown

COURT 6 start 12:30 pm
WTA – [5] R. Kops-Jones (USA) / A. Spears (USA) vs Z. Diyas (KAZ) / S. Peng (CHN)
WTA – After rest – J. Gajdosova (AUS) / A. Tomljanovic (CRO) vs [7] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE)
WTA – A. Kudryavtseva (RUS) / A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs S. Soler-Espinosa (ESP) / M. Torró-Flor (ESP)



Rafael Nadal Wins Madrid Open After Kei Nishikori Retires


(May 11, 2014) Rafael Nadal is back on track for the clay season. World No. 1 Nadal won his fourth Madrid Open on after Kei Nishikori was forced to pull out of the match with a back injury with Nadal leading 2-6, 6-4, 3-0 in the final on Sunday.

“I’m very sorry for Nishikori,” Nadal said. The No. 1 Japanese player was leading the Spaniard 6-2, 4-2 when he first felt pain.

“He’s an unbelievable player that will fight to be in London (ATP World Tour Finals),” Nadal added. “I am sure of that. I really hope that the injury is not too bad and he will be able to compete in Roland Garros.”

“I suffered a similar situation in Australia this year,” said Nadal who lost this year’s Australian Open final to Stanislas Wawrinka. “So I know what I’m talking about and how bitter it is, especially when you’re playing an important match.”

Nishikori, 24, who was participating in his first Masters Series final, said that despite the injury he has a positive look at the future.

“There is a lot of confidence I get from this tournament by beating (Ferrer) in three sets and playing well in the final today. It’s going to be very exciting at (Roland Garros) because I never feel like this on clay. I’m very confident of whatever I hit going for winners. I can hit from either side – forehand or backhand – so it’s a very good feeling that I have on clay right now.”

The loss ended Nishikori’s consecutive win streak at 14. He has already withdrawn

The victory gives Nadal his 27th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title and his 63 ATP career title. Nadal now is alone in sixth place in tournament wins in the Open Era.

“Winning at home is always more special than winning anywhere,” said the 27-year-old. “Having the chance to play in front of your home crowd… is unforgettable for me. This city gives me a lot. This is a very important victory for me.”


Maria Sharapova Rallies to Win Her First Madrid Open Title


(May 11, 2014) Last year’s Madrid Open bridesmaid is this year’s bride as last year’s losing finalist Maria Sharapova rebounded from being dominated in the first set 6-1 to claim her first Madrid Open title over Simona Halep, 1-6, 6-2, 6-3.


“What a week,” Sharapova said emphatically. “Last year I lost in the finals and I really wanted to go one extra step this year, and it’s just been such a fantastic week. Simona and I had played a couple of times before, but she’s really on a different level now. I don’t know how I pulled it off. In the first set I wasn’t doing much to hurt her, and that’s the tennis she’s capable of playing – I knew I had to do some different things after the first set to win this match.”
“I don’t have regrets because it was an amazing week for me and it was my biggest final,” said the Romanian Halep. “But I’m really happy that I could play the final here in Madrid. I played really well all week and I beat top players and I played a very high level of tennis. Maria is a great player and a great champion. She played really well, and I think she deserved to win this title. ”


“I don’t take any finals for granted, and every tournament means a lot to me,” Sharapova continued. “I came close last year, and I didn’t have a great first set today, but I knew it wasn’t over until the last point was played.”


For No. 9 Sharapova the victory marks her 31st WTA title of her career. It extends her current won streak on a lay court to 11. She also captured a tournament in Stuttgart this year.


She has now won 46 of her last 49 matches on clay, with all three of the losses coming to No. 1 Serena Williams.


The 27-year-old Russian will see her ranking rise to No. 7 and Halep will remain at No. 5. Next stop for both women on the tour will be Rome which began on Sunday.


Nadal to Face Nishikori in Madrid Open Final

madrid logo

Madrid, Spain
May 3-11, 2014


Results – Saturday, May 10, 2014
WTA Singles – Semifinals
(8) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (3) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 61 64
(4) Simona Halep (ROU) d. (5) Petra Kvitova (CZE) 67(4) 63 62

WTA Doubles – Final
(2) Errani/Vinci (ITA/ITA) d. (WC) Muguruza/Suárez Navarro (ESP/ESP) 64 63

Singles – Semi-finals
[1] R Nadal (ESP) d R Bautista Agut (ESP) 64 63
[10] K Nishikori (JPN) d [5] D Ferrer (ESP) 76(5) 57 63

Doubles – Semi-finals

[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d [4] D Marrero (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) 76(3) 75
[6] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) d J Cabal (COL) / R Farah (COL) 75 64


NOTE: Doubles Final will stream live at 2:00 pm CET/8:00 am ET

MANOLO SANTANA start 2:00 pm
ATP – [1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs [6] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB)

4:30 pm
WTA – [4] S Halep (ROU) vs [8] M Sharapova (RUS)

7:15 pm
ATP – [1] R Nadal (ESP) vs [10] K Nishikori (JPN)


Tennis – Madrid Open Results and Schedule

madrid logo

Madrid, Spain
May 3-11, 2014


Results – Friday, May 9, 2014
WTA Singles – Quarterfinals
(5) Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. (1) Serena Williams (USA) w/o (left thigh injury)
(8) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (2) Li Na (CHN) 26 76(5) 63
(3) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. (Q) Caroline Garcia (FRA) 64 46 64
(4) Simona Halep (ROU) d. (11) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) 62 62

WTA Doubles – Semifinals
(WC) Muguruza/Suárez Navarro (ESP/ESP) d. (1) Hsieh/Peng (TPE/CHN) 57 63 108 (Match TB)
(2) Errani/Vinci (ITA/ITA) d. Medina Garrigues/Shvedova (ESP/KAZ) 76(7) 26 108 (Match TB)

ATP Singles – Quarter-finals
[1] R Nadal (ESP) d [6] T Berdych (CZE) 64 62
[5] D Ferrer (ESP) d E Gulbis (LAT) 76(3) 63
[10] K Nishikori (JPN) d F Lopez (ESP) 64 64
R Bautista Agut (ESP) d [Q] S Giraldo (COL) 63 64

ATP Doubles – Quarter-finals

[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) 76(4) 63
[4] D Marrero (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) d [8] R Bopanna (IND) / A Qureshi (PAK) 76(5) 76(6)


MANOLO SANTANA start 11:30 am
WTA – [5] P Kvitova (CZE) vs [4] S Halep (ROU)
Not Before 1:00 pm
WTA – [3] A Radwanska (POL) vs [8] M Sharapova (RUS)
Not Before 3:30 pm
ATP – [1] R Nadal (ESP) vs R Bautista Agut (ESP)
Not Before 7:00 pm
ATP – [10] K Nishikori (JPN) vs [5] D Ferrer (ESP)
WTA – Doubles Final – [WC] G Muguruza (ESP) / C Suarez Navarro (ESP) vs [2] S Errani (ITA) / R Vinci (ITA)


Serena Williams Pulls Out of Madrid Open


Serena in press 3

(May 9, 2014) Two-time defending Madrid Open champion Serena Williams has withdrawn from the tourney with a left thigh injury. All week the world No. 1 has had her thigh heavily taped. With her withdrawal, Petra Kvitova advances to the semifinals.

“I have a left thigh injury and, unfortunately, have to withdraw from this year’s Mutua Madrid Open,” Williams said in a statement. “It happened during my first round match. It started to get better, but most importantly right now, I just need some time to rest and recover. It’s beyond words. It’s so frustrating. We couldn’t ask for a better tournament and I love it here in Madrid. I love being a champion here. Manolo Santana and his team put on a great tournament. This is not the way I wanted this week to end.”


Roger Federer Withdraws from Madrid to be with Pregnant Wife


Federer in press

(May 6, 2014) Roger Federer announced on his Facebook page that he has withdrawn from the Madrid Open to be with his wife Mirka who is expecting their third child.

The Federers already have four-year-old twin girls, Myla Rose and Charlene Riva, who will turn five on July 23.

The French Open begins on May 25. The world No. 4 has not missed a major tournament since 2000.


Serena Williams Responds to Sloane Stephens’ Quotes: Stephens Takes Blame on Twitter


By Tumaini Carayol

(May 7, 2013) MADRID – As the traveling tennis circus rolled into Madrid, the tennis world was immediately consumed by shocking off-court happenings that left the actual tennis firmly in the shadows. The first alarm bells rang as a suspiciously scribbled magazine scan was uploaded into a small pocket of the internet during the dead of night. Slowly but surely, awareness of this mysterious magazine spread until, by morning, it had exploded into the mainstream of the tennis world and threatened to consume it whole.

This magazine in question was ‘ESPN: The Mag’, the scan was an interview in which young American hope Sloane Stephens candidly trash-talked Serena Williams and – though opinions on its contents were varied – the angry scribbles that graced the three featured pictures of Stephens presented a window into the widespread fury that greeted Stephens’ controversial comments.

Stephens’ quotes have long since been dissected and discussed. Here was someone who, for the best part of a year, could be seen constantly heaping praise on her countrywoman. The 20 year-old referred to Williams as a friend – her only friend on the WTA. Ahead of their Australian Open clash, Stephens even charmingly discussed a conversation they had exchanged prior, in which Williams jokingly suggested that she grunt. Though the narrative was blown out of proportion by a media that painted the Williams-Stephens relationship as a mentorship rather than simply two kindred spirits, both women stirred the pot with their own comments.

Then, with that fateful interview during Miami, Stephens drove a 50-ton lorry straight through her previous comments.

It is far from the first time Williams has been involved in the exchange of harsh comments. During the dawn of her career, verbal sparring with fellow players was almost her second job. The nadir, or perhaps peak of this off-court drama came at the 1999 US Open when Martina Hingis described Serena and her sister as having “big mouths.” Williams responded immediately, irreverently offering up one of the enduring quotes of a generation:

“She’s always been the type of person that just says things and she just speaks her mind,” she offered quietly. “I guess that has a little bit to do with not having a formal education

It seemed only natural that Williams would respond in a similar manner after Stephens’ comments became known. However, Williams’ experience has evidently taught her to choose her battles wisely. Rather than engaging her 20 year-old opponent in yet another war of words and finding herself the center of yet more drama, Williams offered a considerably more decisive retort. With a wide smile and comically innocent expression, the 15 time-Grand Slam champion replied:

“I don’t really know. I don’t have many thoughts. I’m a big Sloane Stephens fan and always have been. I’ve always said that I think she can be the best in the world. I’ll always continue to think that and always be rooting for her.

“So I really just always wish her ‑ and anyone, really, especially from America the best. We don’t have that many American players, so it’s always exciting to see so many young players doing so well.”


By the end of the day, Stephens had taken to twitter to apologize to Williams, referring to the world number one as “the GOAT” and disclosing that the pair had spoken via phone and cleared the air. Serena the peacemaker: a strange but fitting title.

Tumaini Carayol is in Madrid covering the Madrid Open for Tennis Panorama News. He is a contributing writer at On The Baseline, and writes about professional tennis at his site Foot Fault. Follow his tournament updates on @TennisNewsTPN and his personal twitter @TumCarayol.


Related stories:

Sharapova Reacts to Stephens’ Comments About Serena Williams

Sloane Stephens Criticizes Serena Williams in ESPN The Magazine Interview