Top seed Novak Djokovic described his first straight win over Gael Monfils in Madrid on Tuesday as his “best performance of the year” as he staged a showdown with Andy Murray. The 20-time major champions have secured their number one standings for at least another week by extending their winning record against Monfils with a 6-3, 6-2 win at Caja Magica. Djokovic, who entered the competition 17-0 against the French, needed a victory in his second-round match to avoid losing first place to second-placed Daniil Medvedev.
“I would probably rate it as the best performance of the year, I would say. I felt very good on the field,” Djokovic said.
“I’m very pleased, considering, you know, that to date I haven’t played my best tennis in a few tournaments I’ve played this year and I’m still somehow finding my rhythm, finding my slot.”
The three-time champion of Madrid is finding his rhythm, after not competing much this season, but he arrived in the Spanish capital fresh from second place at the domestic tournament in Belgrade.
The Serb saved three break points in his first two service games before taking control of the match from Monfils and took the lead in one set in 47 minutes.
Djokovic had to save two break points as he served for the match before reserving a 16-match clash with Murray, a 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 winner against Canadian, 14th seed Denis Shapovalov.
It will be the first meeting between Djokovic and Murray since the final in Doha in January 2017.
“In theory I shouldn’t have any chances in a match, he’s obviously number one in the world and I play with a metal hook,” said Murray, who has 11-25 against Djokovic in his career.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to see where my game is and to play against it again. We’ve had so many battles over the years in some of the biggest tournaments in the world.”
Carlos Alcaraz won his first match as among the top 10 players, opening his account in Madrid with a 6-3, 7-5 triumph over Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili.
The Spanish teen sensation, which holds three leading ATP titles together this season, has extended its winning streak to six matches, picking up the trophy in Barcelona 10 days ago.
Seventh-seeded Alcaraz, who turns 19 on Thursday, is waiting for Cameron Norrie or John Isner in the 16 finals, and could potentially face his compatriot Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals.
– Rublev survived, Raducanu came out –
Sixth seed Andrey Rublev was to score 0-3 in the deciding match to defeat British wildcard Jack Draper 2-6, 6-4, 7-5.
The eighth Russian tennis player in the world, who beat Djokovic in the final in Belgrade last week, lost service twice in the first set and lost the advantage in the second at an early stage before beating left-handed Draper, ranked 121st in the world. his ATP debut on the ground in Madrid.
Ukraine’s Angelina Kalinina showed a fierce performance to beat US Open champion Emma Raducana 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 and reach the quarterfinals of the WTA 1000 for the first time.
The 37th-placed Kalinina knocked out the Grand Slam winner in the third consecutive round, after beating Sloane Stephens and Garbine Muguruza with a two-hour, 18-minute victory over ninth seed Raducanu.
“I want to pay tribute to Emma because we both played, I mean very well,” said Kalinina, who is making her Madrid debut this week.
Meanwhile, a string of former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu ended up in the hands of 12th seed American Jessica Pegula, 7-5, 6-1.
Andreescu served for the opening set, but was broken. She then had nosebleeds during the change to 6-5. The Canadian saved four sets of balls on her serve in the 12th game, but gave up in the fifth when Pegula took the lead.
Despite the interruption of the rain in the second set, Pegula finished the victory in less than two hours and advanced to the quarterfinals against the home favorite Sara Sorribes Tormo.
Sorribes Tormo became only the fourth Spaniard to enter the round of 16 at the Madrid Open, passing an awkward draw in which they knocked out Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Naomi Osaka on Tuesday before a 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 victory over Daria Kasatkina. Tuesday .
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