The top two seeds world number one Novak Djokovic and the defending champion Andy Murray have entered the last eight at the second clay court Masters series 1000 event of the year at the Caja Magica in Madrid. Djokovic still smarting from the shock exit in Monte Carlo at the hands of Jiri Vesley of the Czech Republic easily defeated the Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2,6-1.
Earlier in the day the defending champion Andy Murray was equally impressive in 6-2,6-4 demolition of the Frenchman Giles Simon, while Japan’s Kei Nishikori beat another Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-4, 7-5. Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic had a hard fought 7-6(8),7-5 win over the Spanish veteran David Ferrer.
The Australian Nick Kyrgios has continued his impressive run as he followed up his upset win over the reigning French Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka with a win over the Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas 7-6(5),4-6,6-3. The Argentine born Cuevas has won two events in February this year in Rio De Janeiro and Sao Paolo, Brazil. Cuevas who was taken to the distance in his upset win over the Frenchman Gael Monfils on Wednesday ran out of steam in the decider as Kyrgios struck 14 aces.
In the evening session the two remaining Americans in the draw Jack Sock and Sam Querrey had disappointing losses to Joao Sousa of Portugal and Rafael Nadal respectively. Querrey jumped to a 4-1 lead in the opening set in barely twenty minutes and had a break point for a double break but Nadal fought back and reeled off the next seven games to lead by 6-4, 2-0.
Querrey staged a mini comeback as he broke back to draw level at 2-2. Nadal stepped up a gear and then completed the inevitable as he took the next four games to claim the match 6-4,6-2. He next faces Joao Sousa who beat Jack Sock 6-1,6-7(3),6-2. Sousa will play his first Masters series quarter final and is assured of finishing in the top 30.
In the final match of the evening session Milos Raonic had a surprisingly easy 6-4,6-4 win against the last remaining Frenchman in the draw as he took out the 7th seeded Jo Wilfred Tsonga.
Following is a list of matches in the round of eight with my pick mentioned first:-
Novak Djokovic (1) v. Milos Raonic (11)
Kei Nishikori (6) v. Nick Kyrgios (-)
Andy Murray (2) v. Tomas Berdych (8)
Rafael Nadal (5) v. Joao Sousa(-)
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy. You can reach him at the email: firstname.lastname@example.org]