Monday, May 15, 2017

Weekend Tennis Roundup

Rafael Nadal defeated Dominic Thiem again yesterday in the Madrid Open final, 7-6, 6-4, to win his third straight title and cement his status as the favorite going into the French Open. Nadal withstood a tough challenge from the ninth-ranked Thiem, converting on his fourth match point to earn his 15th straight victory on clay and tie Novak Djokovic’s record of 30 career titles in Masters 1000 events. The triumph at his home tournament gave Nadal his 72nd career title, and 52nd on clay. It was Nadal’s second straight win against the 23-year-old Austrian, coming two weeks after the Barcelona Open final, when the Spaniard cruised to victory in straight sets. The victory also moves Nadal above Roger Federer to fourth in the world rankings.

On Monday, Federer made it official what many have suspected for a while now -- he is skipping the French to concentrate on Wimbledon and the hard-court season. Although Nadal is back in form, I think Roger's making a big mistake given the fact that Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray are both head cases -- and all it would take is Nadal's slipping up to really open the door for a second Paris title for the Swiss mister, who would have won it a handful of times if not for Nadal. (And who knows, with three straight wins over Nadal he might have been able to finally beat him on his favorite court.)

Simona Halep of Romania won her second straight Madrid title by defeating Kristina Mladenovic of France 7-5, 6-7 (5), 6-2 in nearly three hours. Now will she lose in the first round in Paris?

Borna Coric had another good week, reaching the quarters in a jizzfest versus eventual finalist Dominic Thiem that he lost 6-1, 6-4.

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