PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal to face Nick Kyrgios at Madrid Open after win over Fabio Fognini

Rafael Nadal was made to sweat by Fabio Fognini this afternoon.

The 14-time Grand Slam champion, who has won the title in Madrid four times before, won  7-6(3), 3-6, 6-4 in two hours and 57 minutes on Court Manolo Santana.

Our champ will play in the third round against Australian bad boy Nick Kyrgios, who beat American Ryan Harrison 6-3 6-3.

More to follow…

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PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal beats Dominic Thiem for record 10th Barcelona title

Rafael Nadal won the Barcelona Open for a record-breaking 10th time with a 6-4, 6-1 defeat Dominic Thiem on Sunday afternoon.

Rafa took a while to impose himself on Thiem on an overcast day in Barcelona with the cold weather slowing down the court. Thiem earned the first breakpoint of the match but Rafa recovered and eventually took the first set by breaking his opponent in the 10th game. There was no let-up in the second set from Rafa, who broke the 23-year-old Austrian twice in a row before serving for the championship.

It was Rafa’s 51st tournament title on clay and 71st career trophy overall.

 

Source: Reuters

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal beats Hyeon Chung in Barcelona to reach semifinals

Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal is two wins away from claiming the Barcelona Open title after sealing a 7-6(1), 6-2 victory over Hyeon Chung in the quarter-finals.

After a tight opening set, our champ began the second strongly, and after establishing a 5-2 lead, he served out the match to secure a spot in the last four.

After the match, Rafa said:

I have to be honest, I had hardly seen him play, all I had to go on were videos which I watched yesterday. These young players have a lot of character so I took to the court with respect, perhaps too much, but in the second set I started dominating.

I gave him a bit too much respect. At the start he was dominating, but I think once I broke back to 3-3 the match was more in my hands. (via AP, AFP)

Rafa will battle either Karen Khachanov or Horacio Zeballos for a place in the final.

Rafael Nadal reaches quarter-finals in Barcelona

World number five Rafael Nadal booked his place in the quarter-finals of the Barcelona Open with a 6-3, 6-4 win over big-serving South African Kevin Anderson.

Rafa, who has won the tournament nine times, sealed victory over the world number 66 in one hour and 32 minutes. He converted a break point in each set to secure his 50th victory in Barcelona.

After the match, Rafa said:

They weren’t the best conditions for me. I much prefer it when the ball is doing more. It wasn’t easy. He’s a really tall player who hits the ball well in comfortable positions. I tried to make him take the ball on the move in order to make him less comfy. (via Reuters)

Our champ will face South Korean qualifier Hyeon Chung in the last eight on Friday.

Rafael Nadal eases past Rogerio Dutra Silva to reach Barcelona Open third round

Playing on Pista Rafa Nadal, nine-time champion Rafael Nadal has booked his place in round three of the Barcelona Open thanks to a straight-sets win over Rogerio Dutra Silva.

Despite having a slow start to the second set against the 69th-ranked Brazilian, Rafa recovered by winning the final six games to secure the victory. He won 6-1, 6-2 in 75 minutes and it was his 2nd win over 69th-ranked Brazilian (he extended his perfect 10-0 record of never having lost to Brazilian players). It was his 49th victory in Barcelona.

Our champ will now meet Kevin Anderson for a spot in the quarter-finals.

Rafa:

I want to thank everyone who makes this tournament possible, a historic tournament and one of the best of the year. It makes me enormously proud that this court bears my name. It’s a huge honour and hugely satisfying.

The court was a bit slower than usual because of the rain, but I’m happy, the (tournament) debut is always delicate. Tomorrow I will have to take another step forward against an opponent like Anderson. I’m happy to be in the third round. (via Reuters)

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal wins his tenth Monte Carlo Masters after beating Albert Ramos-Vinolas

Rafael Nadal claimed a tenth Monte Carlo Masters title with victory over fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

The King of Clay won 6-1 , 6-3 and it was his 70th title – his 29th ATP World Tour Masters title and his 50th clay-court crown.

Rafa:

It has been an amazing week on one of the most important events on the tour. I played well here, which helps me a lot to start the claycourt season with confidence.

This was his first tournament victory of 2017, having won only two in 2016, and means he has claimed clay-court titles in each of the past 14 years.

The victory will be viewed as perfect preparation for our champ as he gears up to battle for a 10th French Open crown next month.

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal beats David Goffin to reach Monte Carlo final

Rafael Nadal moved a step closer to clinching his 10th Monte Carlo Masters title with a routine victory over David Goffin in the semi-final in Monaco. He won 6-3, 6-1 in one hour and 30 minutes.

Rafa will face next compatriot Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who reached his first Masters final by beating Lucas Pouille.

According to ATP World Tour, Rafa is now one match win away from becoming the first man in the Open Era (since April 1968) to earn 10 tournament titles. With victory over Ramos-Vinolas he will clinch a record 50th clay-court crown. On Sunday, the superstar will also be pursuing his first ATP World Tour title since 24 April 2016 in Barcelona (d. Nishikori) and the 70th crown of his career.