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Big three into Madrid last-eight; Osaka, Kvitova out

By The Assam Tribune
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MADRID, May 10: Roger Federer saved two match points to defeat Gael Monfils and reach the Madrid Open quarterfinals on Thursday but women�s world number one and top seed Naomi Osaka was dumped out in a last-eight shock.

Federer, playing only his second match of a 2019 comeback to clay after three years away, needed two hours to defeat French showman Monfils 6-0, 4-6, 7-6 (7/3).

Osaka fell for the second time in two months to Federer�s Swiss compatriot Belinda Bencic, exiting 6-3, 2-6, 5-7. Bencic also beat the double Grand Slam winner in March at Indian Wells.

Czech second seed Petra Kvitova, the defending champion, was also a shock loser, going down 2-6, 3-6 to Kiki Bertens, the Dutch seventh seed who was runner-up in the 2018 final.

Men�s top seed Novak Djokovic, however, motored into the last eight as he hammered Jeremy Chardy 6-1, 7-6 (7/2) while five-time champion Rafael Nadal dispatched Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 6-4.

Nadal will next play Stan Wawrinka after the Swiss completed a national hat-trick on the day, beating Japan�s sixth seed Kei Nishikori 6-3, 7-6 (7/3).

Defending champion Alexander Zverev came from breaks down in both of the last two sets to get past error-prone Pole Hubert Hurkacz 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 and now plays eighth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, a 6-3, 6-4 winner against Fernando Verdasco.

Federer admitted he struggled to get past the talented Monfils, seeded 15th, before recording his 1,200th career win.

It took a comeback from 4-1 down in the final set after sweeping the first set in 18 minutes, combined with a dominating tiebreak for the Swiss fourth seed to advance.

Federer said nothing was decided until the end of a match played in difficult swirling winds and challenging conditions.

�I had a tough run of five losing games late in the second and into the third,� said the 20-time Grand Slam champion who will face Austrian fifth seed and recent Barcelona champion Dominic Thiem for a place in the semifinals. � AFP

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Big three into Madrid last-eight; Osaka, Kvitova out

MADRID, May 10: Roger Federer saved two match points to defeat Gael Monfils and reach the Madrid Open quarterfinals on Thursday but women�s world number one and top seed Naomi Osaka was dumped out in a last-eight shock.

Federer, playing only his second match of a 2019 comeback to clay after three years away, needed two hours to defeat French showman Monfils 6-0, 4-6, 7-6 (7/3).

Osaka fell for the second time in two months to Federer�s Swiss compatriot Belinda Bencic, exiting 6-3, 2-6, 5-7. Bencic also beat the double Grand Slam winner in March at Indian Wells.

Czech second seed Petra Kvitova, the defending champion, was also a shock loser, going down 2-6, 3-6 to Kiki Bertens, the Dutch seventh seed who was runner-up in the 2018 final.

Men�s top seed Novak Djokovic, however, motored into the last eight as he hammered Jeremy Chardy 6-1, 7-6 (7/2) while five-time champion Rafael Nadal dispatched Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 6-4.

Nadal will next play Stan Wawrinka after the Swiss completed a national hat-trick on the day, beating Japan�s sixth seed Kei Nishikori 6-3, 7-6 (7/3).

Defending champion Alexander Zverev came from breaks down in both of the last two sets to get past error-prone Pole Hubert Hurkacz 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 and now plays eighth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, a 6-3, 6-4 winner against Fernando Verdasco.

Federer admitted he struggled to get past the talented Monfils, seeded 15th, before recording his 1,200th career win.

It took a comeback from 4-1 down in the final set after sweeping the first set in 18 minutes, combined with a dominating tiebreak for the Swiss fourth seed to advance.

Federer said nothing was decided until the end of a match played in difficult swirling winds and challenging conditions.

�I had a tough run of five losing games late in the second and into the third,� said the 20-time Grand Slam champion who will face Austrian fifth seed and recent Barcelona champion Dominic Thiem for a place in the semifinals. � AFP