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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Swiatek and Zverev comfortably advance at Madrid Open

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MADRID, May 1 (AP): Iga Swiatek continued to make it look easy at the Madrid Open, reaching the round of 16 with a comfortable 6-3, 6-2 win over Bernarda Pera on Sunday.

The world No. 1 conceded only one breakpoint and converted on four of the 13 that she earned against the 32nd-ranked American at the “Magic Box” center court.

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Swiatek had beaten Julia Grabher by the same score in her opening match in Madrid. The Polish player has won six straight matches in her clay-court season while dropping only one set.

“I wouldn’t say it was easy,” Swiatek said. “Every match is tricky here. I’m happy that I’m getting my rhythm. Playing against a lefty is never easy … but I’m pretty happy that I was disciplined and focused.”

Swiatek will next play either 22nd-seeded Zheng Qinwen or 16th-seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Third-seeded Jessica Pegula had to work harder on her way to a 6-4, 7-6 (2) win over Marie Bouzkova. The American saved 12 of the 14 break opportunities that she conceded against her 31st-ranked opponent.

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“It was definitely a long, physical game,” Pegula said. “It’s always hard to play Marie. We always have tough, long matches. I knew it was going to be very difficult.”

In the men’s draw, two-time Madrid Open champion Alexander Zverev cruised past qualifier Hugo Grenier 6-1, 6-0 in less than an hour. Zverev lost last year’s final to Carlos Alcaraz, who could be his next opponent in the Spanish capital. Alcaraz faces 26th-seeded Grigor Dimitrov later Sunday.

“Today I felt great,” Zverev said. “Maybe Hugo was a bit nervous, first time in the third round at a Masters and that is big for any player. In general I am happy that I kept my composure and that I am through.”

Zverev, who had 26 winners and broke Grenier’s serve six times, won his Madrid titles in 2018 and ‘21. He is 21-3 in the tournament, having reached the quarterfinals in all five of his previous appearances.

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Fifth-seeded Andrey Rublev improved to 10-1 on clay this season with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Yoshihito Nishioka. Rublev, who reached the quarterfinals in Madrid last year, won the Monte Carlo Masters two weeks ago.

He will next face Karen Khachanov, the 10th-seeded player who defeated home-crowd favorite Roberto Bautista Agut 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 by winning the final three games in a match that lasted almost three hours.

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttp://www.thehillstimes.in
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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