Home Tennis Madrid: last pair of French survivors, Thiem makes a successful comeback

Madrid: last pair of French survivors, Thiem makes a successful comeback

by archysport

Aurélie SACCHELLI, Media365, published on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 10:05 p.m.

This Tuesday, in the 1st round of the Masters 1000 in Madrid, Herbert and Khachanov were released in three sets by Davidovich Fokina and Nishikori respectively, while Auger-Aliassime was eliminated by Ruud. Benoit Paire, on the other hand, saved the honor by dominating Nikoloz Basilashvili. In the other results, in the 2nd round, it goes for Rublev and Berrettini, not for Shapovalov. Dominic Thiem easily made his comeback.

Who could have imagined it? Benoit Paire, at the bottom of the hole since the start of the season, both tennis and mentally, is the last French to survive the first round of the Masters 1000 in Madrid! The 35th world was opposed to the 31st, Nikoloz Basilashvili, Sunday winner of the Munich tournament. But that did not prevent Paire from winning 6-4, 7-5 in 1:13. It must be said that the Frenchman was able to count, for the first time in months, on what he lacked so much: supporters! A gauge was indeed set up for the Spanish tournament, and Paire was able to benefit from a French “kop” which supported him loudly throughout the game, with even a “he is really phenomenal” for the game. ” accompany when leaving the court. To clinch his second victory in twelve games this season, Paire has shown himself to be very solid, especially in the service where he scored 14 aces, and he has not cracked, which has happened to him so many times since the start of the season. . After a great start to the match where he led 3-0, he saw the Georgian come back to 3-3, but broke him at the most important point, at 5-4. In the second set, Basilashvili broke to lead 2-1, but Paire resumed his service immediately (2-2), before breaking to lead 5-3. But the Frenchman completely missed out when serving for the match, conceding a shutout. Finally, at 6-5, in his favor, he managed to take Basilashvili’s serve one last time, and win on his third match point. Here is a victory that will do him the greatest good. And in the second round, he will be entitled to a match against Stefanos Tsitsipas. On a big court and with fans, the Frenchman will be more motivated than ever!

Herbert in his turn falls

After the eliminations of Ugo Humbert, Jérémy Chardy and Adrian Mannarino on Monday, it is this time Pierre-Hugues Herbert who fell. Coming from the qualifications in this Masters 1000, the Frenchman was taken out by Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in three sets (6-7, 7-6, 7-6) and almost three hours of play (2h56). At the end of a first round without great fears on both sides, the Alsatian made the difference during the tie-break. Unfortunately, the scenario then reversed for Herbert, who had to save four break points at 2-1, and the Spaniard equalized by being more assertive in the tie-break. In the last set, after two breaks on each side, it was once again in the tie-break that one of the fit men of the moment made the difference. Indeed, after his quarter-final in Monte-Carlo and his semi-final in Estoril, Davidovich Fokina signs a new success on clay and will be able to measure himself against Daniil Medvedev, back after having had the coronavirus, in the 2nd round. Now, there is only Benoit Paire still in the race on the French side, before his match against Nikoloz Basilashvili scheduled for Tuesday. In a “similar” scenario, Kei Nishikori also knocked down Karen Khachanov in three innings (6-7, 6-2, 6-2) and 2:18 of play. Despite the loss of the first set in the decisive game, the Japanese reacted perfectly to win, thanks to two breaks in each set thereafter, while showing solidity on his faceoffs. Currently 43rd in the world in the ATP rankings, the latter has meeting with Alexander Zverev in the next round. Also note the elimination of Hubert Hurkacz. Seeded number 12, the Pole suffered a fate similar to Herbert and Khachanov when he fell against John Millman (5-7, 7-6, 6-3), after taking the first set.

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Rublev and Berrettini already in eighth

For his entry into the running, Andrey Rublev had to fight. Opposed to Tommy Paul, the Russian still came out in three sets (6-7, 6-3, 6-4) and 2:21. Beaten by Sinner in the quarter-finals in Barcelona, ​​the world number 7 was slow to revive and was unusually feverish on his services. After three breaks on each side in the first set, it was the tie-break that decided the two players, and saw the American make fewer mistakes. With his back to the wall, that’s when Rublev got back on track. Once again sovereign on his service, the Russian then took the service of his opponent twice, at 4-3 in the second set and at 4-4 in the last, to finally qualify easily for the knockout stages of the Masters 1000 from Madrid, where his opponent will be Roberto Bautista Agut, Marco Cecchinato or John Isner. After a rather quiet first round against Dusan Lajovic, Denis Shapovalov was however surprised by Alexander Bublik, winner in three sets (6-4, 5-7, 6-4) and 2:22 hours of play. After a first set overall controlled by the Kazakh, the 14th in the world managed to come back to equality, before cracking again in the last round. By converting one of the only two break points in the last act, the one who had released Marton Fucsovics in the first round got rid of Shapovalov, decidedly little success this season on clay. Bublik is now waiting to know which Diego Schwartzman or Aslan Karatsev he will challenge for a place in the quarterfinals. Seeded No. 8, Matteo Berrettini reached the round of 16 without too many problems, thanks to his 6-3, 6-4 victory in 1h21 against his compatriot Fabio Fognini, whom he thus beats for the first time. The world No.10 served 5 aces and 75% from first balls and had no break points to defend. He took the opposing serve 1-0 in the first and 1-1 in the second to win.

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Thiem, Sinner and Bautista Agut at the rendezvous, not Auger-Aliassime

Absent from the courts since March 16 and his entry defeat in Dubai, Dominic Thiem recognized that he needed a break and it was visibly beneficial to him, as the Austrian made his return to competition perfectly successful. In just 58 minutes, the world No.4 defeated No.91 Marcos Giron by the score of 6-3, 6-3. The former Roland-Garros finalist served 5 aces and 80% of first balls and had no break point to defend. Breaks at 2-1 and 4-1 in the first set and 1-1 in the second allowed him to win, and to afford a second round against Alex De Minaur, who benefited from the retirement of Lloyd Harris at 6-2, 6-0. Expected after his semi-final in Barcelona, ​​Jannik Sinner did not miss his entry into the running in Madrid. Faced with a diminished Guido Pella, the Italian was still serious and applied to take the lead in this meeting, before the abandonment of his opponent at 6-2, 4-4. Author of two breaks in the first set, at 3-2 and 5-2, the native of San Candido did not tremble and quickly took the lead. After another break from Sinner, at 1-0 in the second set, the case seemed almost over, but the Argentinian did not give up and came back to 4-4. Finally, like in Munich last week, Pella ended up giving up because of an adductor problem. In just over an hour (1:05), the Italian suddenly “won” the first match of his career on Madrid clay and now awaits Alexei Popyrin in the next round of the Masters 1000. Behind, in one of the shocks of the 1st round, Casper Ruud left no chance to Felix Auger-Aliassime by winning in two sets (6-1, 6-4) and 1h33 of play. Thanks to two breaks in the first set, at 2-1 and 4-1, the recent semi-finalist in Munich did not take long to take the lead in this duel of the “Next Gen.” “Following another break at 3-3 in the second set, the Norwegian got his first match points. After two failures on the Canadian service, Ruud ended with his faceoff, after having had to start again three times. In the 2nd round, the latter will face Yoshihito Nishioka, integrated into the table after the withdrawal of Cameron Norrie and who dominated Filip Krajinovic (6-7, 6-2, 6-2). Winner in Estoril last week, Albert Ramos-Viñolas beat Taylor Fritz (7-5, 5-7, 6-4) and joined Federico Delbonis in the next round. No.9 seed Roberto Bautista Agut suffered but ended up beating Marco Cecchinato 6-2, 6-7, 7-5 in 2:32, converting his fourth match point one hour after the first three. The Spaniard easily won the first set by breaking at 2-2 and 4-2, then broke while the Italian served to win the second set at 5-3. In the process, “RBA” got three match points on his service at 6-5, but missed them, before losing in the tie-break (7-3). Everything was decided in the last set, where the former semi-finalist of Roland-Garros (now 104th) gave a hard time to Bautista Agut, by breaking him while he was serving for the match at 5-3. Finally, it was the Italian who cracked, breaking white at 5-6, thus offering the victory to the Spaniard, future opponent of John Isner.

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(With GM)

MADRID (Spain, Masters 1000, clay, € 3,226,325)
Title holder (in 2019): Novak Djokovic (SER)

2nd round
Nadal (ESP, n°1) – Alcaraz (ESP, WC)
Popyrin (AUS, Q) – Sinner (ITA, n ° 14)
Millman (AUS) – Evans (GBR)
Nishikori (JAP) – A.Zverev (ALL, n°5)

Thiem (AUT, n ° 3) bat Giron (USA, Q) : 6-1, 6-3
De Minaur (AUS) bat Harris (AFS) : 6-2, 3-0 abandon
Bautista Agut (ESP, n ° 9) – Isner (USA)
Rublev (RUS, n°6) bat Paul (USA) : 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4

Schwartzman (ARG, n°7) – Karatsev (RUS)
Bublik (KAZ) bat Shapovalov (CAN, n°11) : 6-4, 5-7, 6-4
Ruud (NOR) – Nishioka (JAP, LL)
Paire (FRA) – Tsitsipas (GRE, n ° 4)

Berrettini (ITA, n°8) bat Fognini (ITA) : 6-3, 6-4
Ramos-Viñolas (ESP) – Delbonis (ARG, Q)
Garin (CHI, n°16) – Koepfer (ALL)
Davidovich Fokina (ESP) – Medvedev (RUS, n°2)

1st round
Nadal (ESP, n°1) – Bye
Alcaraz (ESP, WC) bat Mannarino (FRA): 6-4, 6-0
Popyrin (AUS, Q) bat Struff (ALL) : 6-3, 7-6 (4)
Sinner (ITA, n°14) bat Pella (ARG) : 6-2, 4-4 abandon

Millman (AUS) bat Hurkacz (POL, n°12) : 5-7, 7-6 (7), 6-3
Evans (GBR) bat Chardy (FRA): 7-6 (6), 6-7 (7), 6-2
Nishikori (JAP) bat Khachanov (RUS) : 6-7 (6), 6-2, 6-2
A.Zverev (ALL, n°5) – Bye

Thiem (AUT, n ° 3) – Bye
Giron (USA, Q) bat Andujar (ESP, Q) : 6-7 (8), 7-6 (4), 7-5
De Minaur (AUS) bat Munar (ESP, WC): 4-6, 7-5, 6-1
Harris (AFS) beat Dimitrov (BUL, n ° 13): 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5)

Bautista Agut (ESP, n ° 9) bat Cecchinato (ITA, Q): 6-2, 6-7 (3), 7-5
Isner (USA) bat Kecmanovic (SER): 6-4, 7-6 (6)
Paul (USA) bat Martinez (ESP, WC) : 6-4, 7-5
Rublev (RUS, n°6) – Bye

Schwartzman (ARG, n°7) – Bye
Karatsev (RUS) bat Humbert (FRA): 7-5, 6-4
Bublik (KAZ) bat Fucsovics (HON): 7-6 (5), 6-3
Shapovalov (CAN, n°11) beat Lajovic (SER): 6-1, 6-3

Ruud (NOR) bat Auger-Aliassime (CAN, n°15) : 6-1, 6-4
Nishioka (JAP, LL) bat Krajinovic (SER) : 6-2, 6-4
Pair (FRA) bat Basilashvili (GEO) : 6-4, 7-5
Tsitsipas (GRE, n ° 4) – Bye

Berrettini (ITA, n°8) – Bye
Fognini (ITA) bat Taberner (ESP, Q) : 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-3
Ramos-Viñolas (ESP) bat Fritz (USA) : 7-5, 5-7, 6-4
Delbonis (ARG, Q) bat Carreño Busta (ESP, n ° 10): 3-6, 6-4, 6-3

Garin (CHI, n ° 16) bat Verdasco (ESP, WC) : 6-1, 6-4
Koepfer (ALL) bat Opelka (USA) : 6-4, 6-4
Davidovich Fokina (ESP) bat Herbert (FRA, Q): 6-7 (5), 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4)
Medvedev (RUS, n°2) – Bye

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