Tennis Prose



ATP Tour: Latest Tennis Highlights

The 2024 ATP Tour has entered its Madrid Open leg, with the tournament currently in its first week. Dubbed the Mutua Madrid Open, the ATP Masters 1000 event is being played on clay courts at the Caja Mágica and will run till May. Let’s review the highlights from the first week. 

25 April: Nadal Extends His Record

In the first round of the Madrid Open, 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal trounced 16-year-old Darwin Blanch in a 6-1, 6-0 win that saw him extend his record to 57 victories in Madrid. Nadal, who has won the tournament five times, was in perfect form, taking the first set in 28 minutes and leading the second to take the win. Also impressive was the age gap of 21 years and 117 days between Nadal and Blanch – the biggest ever at the level.

Blanch, who has lost two of his wild card matches so far, has yet to win a tour. However, going up against a seasoned champion like Nadal should add to his experience. Fans can keep up with the young star on the betway app as the tour progresses, as well as Nadal who goes up against 10th seed Alex de Minaur next.  

25 April: Joao Fonseca Makes His Debut

17-year-old Brazilian Joao Fonseca secured his first ATP Masters 1000 win on Thursday, beating fellow Next Gen ATP star Alex Michelsen 4-6, 6-0, 6-2. Fonseca, who now faces 29th seed, Cameron Norrie, wowed the crowd with a heavy-hitting performance that dominated the court.

25 April: More #NextGenATP Action

In more exciting news from the Next Gen ATP action that has kept fans glued to their screens this season, Czech Jakub Mensik closed a two-hour set with a 6-4, 7-6(3) win against German Yannick Hanfmann. Meanwhile, reigning Next Gen champion Hamad Medjedovic recorded his first tour win of the season, beating Aleksandar Kovacevic 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.

26 April: Alcaraz Reclaims His Throne

On the third day of the 2024 Madrid Open, two-time defending champion Carlos Alcaraz made his seasonal debut after an injury that saw him sit out Barcelona and Monte Carlo. Wearing a compression sleeve, the Spaniard, who is not yet back to his full form, reclaimed his throne, beating Alexander Shevchenko 6-2, 6-1 without breaking a sweat.

26 April: Holger Rune Shocks Fans

In a game that lasted almost three hours, Holger Rune tapped into all his reserves to level the set and force a tie-break in his Friday evening match against Argentine Mariano Navone. A mere two points from defeat, Rune displayed heightened aggression, winning 5-7, 7-6(2), and elevating fans.

26 April: Rublev Makes a Comeback

Andrey Rublev’s four-match losing streak has been the worst of the season. However, in his Friday match against Argentine qualifier Facundo Bagnis, the Russian staged a comeback, winning 6-1, 6-4 to enter the third round for the fourth consecutive year. Rublev blamed his previous setback on changes in his training regime, and going back to his old training model seems to have worked.

27 April: Thiago Monteiro with the Upset

In the biggest upset of the season so far, Brazilian Thiago Monteiro beat veteran Stefanos Tsitsipas, 6-4, 6-4, on Saturday to enter the event’s third round for the first time. The exemplary second-round performance will see Monteiro take on Hamad Medjedovic or Jiri Lehecka next.

Wrapping Up

The Madrid Open 2024 has been action-packed so far, with hard hitters like Alacaraz, Rune, and Rublev proving they can still command the court and fresh faces like Thiago and Mensik making their mark.

With the seeds for next week’s set, players, coaches, and fans from across the globe will be watching Caja Mágica for more Madrid action.

Carlos Alcaraz painting by Ted Dimond

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