Reuters & Press Trust Of India
Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka crashed to a shock second-round defeat at the Madrid Open on Tuesday when he was upset 1-6 6-2 6-4 by qualifier Dominic Thiem.
Third-seeded Swiss Wawrinka, who followed up his title in Melbourne with victory at last month’s Monte Carlo Masters, started strongly against the 70th-ranked Austrian, who at 20 years and eight months is the youngest player in the top 100.
However, he lost his way in the second set and was unable to recover in the third as Thiem pulled off his first ever win over a top 10 player to secure passage to the third round and a meeting with 15th seed Mikhail Youzhny of Russia or unseeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.
Wawrinka told a news conference he had found trouble adjusting to the conditions in the Spanish capital, where the thinner air at altitude helps the balls fly faster than a clay court at sea level.
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“It’s never easy to (adjust), especially here, it’s flying a little bit,” added the 29-year-old, who lost to Nadal in last year’s Madrid final. “He was finding his game and I was hesitating with my game and wasn’t playing my best game.
“He’s a good player. We all know that. We all see that, especially since the beginning of the year.
“I’m not surprised because I know him. He was going for it and he deserved to win.” Thiem was joined in the last 16 by fifth seed David Ferrer, who had to dig deep to see off Spanish compatriot Albert Ramos 7-6(6) 5-7 6-3.
Nadal thrashes Monaco
Rafa Nadal launched the defence of his Madrid Open title by breezing past Juan Monaco 6-1 6-0 on Wednesday to rediscover his touch on his favoured clay after surprise exits in his last two tournaments.
The world number one went out in the quarter-finals at both Monte Carlo and Barcelona last month, but his extra quality shone through in his second-round match against the 56th-ranked Monaco. Nadal, seeking a fourth Madrid Open title, stormed into a 2-0 lead and never looked back.
Although he was not at his best, the power and accuracy of his shots were too much for the Argentine, with the match ending in 68 minutes
“All the wins are useful to improve your confidence. At the start it was more difficult, I moved nervously. Then after that I played better than I have been doing,” Nadal said. He now faces a quarter-final against Jarkko Nieminen, who beat Igor Sijsling 6-3 6-2.
Also, women’s number one Serena Williams remained on track for her 60th career title as she powered past Peng Shuai 6-2 6-3 in Madrid. Williams now faces a quarter-final against Spanish number one Carla Suarez Navarro, who beat Alison Riske 6-2 6-4.
Sania-Cara in last eight
Fifth seeds Sania Mirza and Cara Black had little problem in dispatching Hao-Ching Chan and Chanelle Scheepers as they scored a comfortable straight sets victory to progress to the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open.
The Indo-Zimbabwean team won 6-4 6-1 in little over an hour in the second round contest of the euro 3,671,405 clay court tournament.
Sania and Cara raced to 4-1 lead but Chan and Scheepers reduced the margin to make it 3-4. However, the Taeipei-Chinese pair could not sustain the momentum as Sania and Cara proved too good for them.
Sania and Cara will now fight it with either wild card entrants Italian Francesca Schiavone and her Spanish partner Silvia Soler-Espinosa or the top seeds Su-Wei Hsieh from Taipei and Shuai Peng of China. Sania and Cara have moved to third place in the Race to Singapore, where the year-end finals will be played in November.
World number one team Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci are heading the table with 3430 points, followed by Elena Vesnina and Ekaternia Makarova (2266) and Sania and Cara (2247).
(Women singles Rd 2): 14-Carla Suarez Navarro (Spain) beat Alison Riske (US) 6-2 6-4, 1-Serena Williams (US) beat Peng Shuai (China) 6-2 6-3, 4-Simona Halep (Romania) beat Lara Arruabarrena Vecino (Spain) 6-4 6-4, Caroline Garcia (France) beat Maria Kirilenko (Russia) walkover.
(Men’s singles Rd 2): Jarkko Nieminen (Finland) beat Igor Sijsling (Netherlands) 6-3 6-2, Ernests Gulbis (Latvia) beat Alexandr Dolgopolov (Ukraine) 6-3 6-4, Lukasz Kubot (Poland) beat Gilles Simon (France) 7-5 2-6 6-4, 6-Tomas Berdych (Czech Republic) beat Kevin Anderson (South Africa) 6-1 6-4.