Thursday, May 30, 2024
Thursday, May 30, 2024
Home » Nadal tops Blanch in ‘decent’ Madrid Open first round; Osaka wins

Nadal tops Blanch in ‘decent’ Madrid Open first round; Osaka wins

by Noe
Nadal tops Blanch in 'decent' Madrid Open first round; Osaka wins

Rafael Nadal topped Darwin Blanch in what he described as a “decent” Madrid Open first-round match, while Naomi Osaka also won on Thursday.

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NADAL TOPS BLANCH IN MADRID OPEN FIRST-ROUND MATCH

Nadal pulled off a comfortable 6-1, 6-0 win over American teenager Blanch to open his first-round campaign.

However, the Spaniard admitted he was not tested regarding his fitness.

“I didn’t test much my body today. I played a decent match doing the things that I had to do to be through,” Nadal said.

“But at the same time I played against a player… making more mistakes,” he added.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion took advantage of Blanch’s 22 unforced errors to cruise to victory.

Nadal finished off the 16-year-old at the Caja Magica center court in just one hour.

NADAL SEES BLANCH POTENTIAL, EXPECTS TOUGH MATCH AGAINST DE MINAUR

Nadal offered some kind words for Blanch, saying his youthful opponent has a potential for a brighter professional tennis future.

“I think today I played an opponent with a great future. I wish him (Blanch) all the very best for the future,” the former world No.1 said.

Nadal, however, expects a tougher test when he faces Alex de Minaur for his second-round match on Saturday.

“I hope I can give my best and be competitive against De Minaur, to whom he lost in the second round of the Barcelona Open last week.

“Tomorrow, one more day of practice here, and then after tomorrow, on court again. That makes me feel great,” he added

OSAKA WINS MADRID OPENER OVER LUCKY LOSER MINNEN

Osaka, meanwhile, opened her Madrid campaign with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over lucky loser Greet Minnen.

The Japanese flicked eight aces and faced one break point to close out the match and win her first claycourt match since 2022 when she beat Anastasia Potapova also in Madrid.

“There’s basis to my game, and I want to stick to that but also respect the court,” Osaka said.

“It’s a work in progress for me, but I’m watching a lot more matches on clay. I’m trying to do my homework as best as I can,” she added.

Qualifier Bouzas Maneiro beat Spanish compatriot Paula Badosa, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3, while American Sloane Stephens defeated Martina Trevisan, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.

In other matches, Sara Sorribes Torino thrashed Bernarda Pera, 7-5, 6-2, while Maria Lourdes Carle overwhelmed 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu, 6-2, 6-2.

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