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Tennis Tuesday – Kvitova Reigns In Spain

Petra Kvitova crushed Svetlana Kuznetsova to win her second Madrid Open title. Andy Murray produced magic to win his first Masters 1000 clay title in the Spanish capital.

Winning Week

Petra Kvitova cruised to victory at the Madrid Open on Saturday. She defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-1, 6-2 in a dominant display. Earlier that week, Kvitova had ended Serena Williams’s 27-match winning streak and proved too good for Kuznetsova. She hit 33 winners in 66 minutes, an average of one every two minutes, and just 14 unforced errors. “I knew I had to play aggressively because Svetlana’s a great player on clay…,” said Kvitova. “So I knew that I had to make a lot of winners.” The Czech raced through the first set in less than a half an hour. Kuznetsova struggled as the toll of a gruelling week started to show.

She took a medical time-out between sets but it did nothing to disrupt Kvitova’s rhythm. The Russian had no answer to Petra’s powerful ground strokes. A big serve from the Wimbledon champion on match point was driven wide by Kuznetsova. It is Kvitova’s sixteenth career title. She only recently returned to action following a six-week break due to exhaustion. The time away seems to have done her the world of good.

Andy Murray produced his best performance on the clay to claim his first Masters 1000 title in Madrid. He defeated Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-2. It is Murray’s first victory over Nadal on clay in seven attempts. The Spaniard played his best match of the clay season against Berdych in the semi-finals but could not replicate it against a ruthless Murray. “To win a Masters on clay for me is a step in the right direction. It’s something I’ve never done before,” he said. “To win against Rafa on clay in a final in Spain is an extremely difficult thing to do, and I’m proud that I managed to do that.”

Some excellent shot-making from Murray and errors from Nadal were the order of the day. Murray broke early in the first set, winning twelve of the first fourteen points, to give himself a 3-0 lead. Nadal had three opportunities to break back but could not convert any of them as Andy served for the set. The second followed a similar pattern as the Scot broke early once again. The final game was uncharacteristically error-strewn from Nadal as he shanked all four returns to give Murray the victory. It is Murray’s second clay title in six days after his victory in Munich last Monday. As a result of his loss, Nadal has dropped out of the top 5 for the first time in ten years.

This Week’s Tournaments: Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Rome (ATP & WTA)

ATP To Review Match Scheduling

The ATP will review match schedules after Andy Murray’s match against Phillip Kohlschreiber in Madrid started at 1.10am Thursday morning. Several long matches on Wednesday evening forced the late start. “The scheduling issues in Madrid were unfortunate,” said ATP Tour chief Chris Kermode. “While such instances are rare, we will look at reducing the risk of similar instances occurring in the future.” Murray defeated Kohlschreiber 6-4, 3-6, 6-0 at 3am and was on court Thursday evening for his next match.

Edgbaston Return for Ivanovic 

Ana Ivanovic will defend her Aegon Classic title at Edgbaston this June.  She defeated Barbora Strycova 6-3, 6-2 in last year’s final. World No.2 Simona Halep and former Grand Slam champions Svetlana Kuznetsova and Victoria Azarenka will  join the Serbian at the pre-Wimbledon warm-up tournament. Also signed up to play are the German trio of Angelique Kerber, Sabine Lisicki and Andrea Petkovic and America’s Madison Keys.

Raonic Doubful for French Open

The new World No.4 Milos Raonic is a doubt for the French Open. After withdrawing from this week’s tournament in Rome, he will undergo surgery on his right foot. According to his spokesman, Raonic has nerve damage but the injury is not structural. He reached the quarter-finals in Madrid last week, losing to Andy Murray, where he looked in visible pain. The recovery time after surgery is expected to be one to two weeks. The French Open begins May 24th.

 

Eilís Brennan, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.