Nadal beats Auger-Aliassime to advance in Madrid Open

MADRID — Overcoming lack of practice because of a stomach virus, Rafael Nadal cruised to a 6-3, 6-3 win over Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime at the Madrid Open on Wednesday.

Nadal lost only four points on his serve in the first set and broke Auger-Aliassime three times in the second to reach the third round in the Spanish capital.

The second-ranked Nadal had his practice time reduced after falling ill just before the tournament.

“I’ve had this stomach virus for a few days so this was a very important match for me,” Nadal said. “I’ve been improving but obviously the body remains a bit debilitated for a while. I’m very happy with the victory. It was very important.”

Nadal is trying to rebound from consecutive eliminations in the semifinals of both Monte Carlo and Barcelona, which marked his worst start to the clay-court season in four years.

A five-time champion in Madrid, the Spaniard will next face American Frances Tiafoe, who defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

The 18-year-old Auger-Aliassime, a native of Montreal, is having his breakthrough season on tour, having moved to 30th in the rankings after reaching the final in Rio and the semifinals in Miami.

He converted on his only break opportunity of the match late in the second set, but Nadal broke right back to close out the match at the “Magic Box” centre court. The 17-time Grand Slam champion converted four of his 10 break opportunities, with the last one coming on his sixth-match point of the final game.

Earlier, Juan Martin Del Potro squandered a match point in a 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 loss to Laslo Djere in his second tournament since injuring his knee in October. Del Potro converted only two of his 11 break opportunities, failing to capitalize on the match point at 5-4 in the final set. The Argentine had last played in Delray Beach in February, losing in the quarterfinals.

Stan Wawrinka defeated Guido Pella 6-3, 6-4, while Kei Nishikori got past Hugo Dellien 7-5, 7-5.

Just Posted

Ermineskin First Nation soon to become major electricity generator

One-megawatt solar energy project to begin selling power to provincial grid next month

Red dresses will be hung throughout Red Deer on Monday to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women

Events planned at RDC for International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Alberta Innovates presence remains in Red Deer area

Funding cuts forces restructuring

GoFundMe supports Red Deer family with baby diagnosed with meningitis

Earlier this month, Red Deer’s Scott and Makenna Ebbert had a baby… Continue reading

First of its kind type of dairy facility in Canada coming near Red Deer

A high-tech dairy facility, said to be the first of its kind… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Nov. 19 The Mountview Sunnybrook Community Association will hold its AGM at… Continue reading

Forward Jace Isley bringing new energy to Rebels lineup

The 17-year-old was originally drafted as a defenceman but has reinvented himself upfront

Wine and Beyond opens its doors in Red Deer

Huge wine, beer and spirits store located in former Rona at 2610 50th Ave.

MAP: Red Deer Open Houses for Nov. 23-24

Plan your open house viewings with the attached map of listings in… Continue reading

Dealing with provinces will test Freeland’s talents

In the game of dominoes that is behind the making of Justin… Continue reading

Trump’s sanctions on Iran risk unexpected changes

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution. It begins… Continue reading

Opinion: Progress at city hall provides good reason for optimism

In May, the City of Red Deer hired its new city manager,… Continue reading

Women’s hockey union announces second Dream Gap Tour stop in Toronto

TORONTO — The Professional Women’s Hockey Association’s Dream Gap Tour is returning… Continue reading

Most Read