I haven’t described this tournament as past ‘Masters 1000’ events this year, because I had a busy weekend (partying with friends from Breslau), and simply hadn’t time to watch any matches from quarterfinals and onwards.
There was a big surprise in the second round: in the longest ‘best-of-three’ match of the season (3 hours 6 minutes), Grigor Dimitrov notched his first win over a Big 4 player stunning Novak Djokovic 7-6(6) 6-7(8) 6-3. The young Bulgarian saved three set points in the 1st set, but wasted a match point in the 2nd set suffering cramps in the meantime. It had seemed he should have lost the decider quickly, but somehow regrouped and survived being supported strongly by the Madrid crowd, who booed the Serb when he left the court (it’s tough to indicate one special reason of that). “Of course this has been what I’ve been working for, to play matches like that, and why not win them?” Dimitrov said. “Today was one of these days that I felt good on court. I felt I had enough hours of practice in the weeks before. I felt that I could actually hang with Novak the whole match. That’s the whole purpose of getting ready for big events and eventually for big matches.” Other surprise, but of much more smaller caliber came from Kei Nishikori‘s hands. The Japanese ousted Roger Federer 6-4 1-6 6-2 in the third round. “Credit to Kei. He got it done and was more solid in the wind. He played better than I did, so the better guy won today, that’s for sure.” said the Swiss playing his first clay-court tournament this year. Robin Haase has become an infamous record holder of the longest tie-break losing streak. The Dutchman suffered three tie-break defeats this week which has extended his streak to 17 (the previous longest losing streak belonged to Graham Stilwell, who lost 15 tie-breaks in a row in years 1972-73) # The Dutchman can’t win a main-tour level tie-break since Zagreb ’12, however, in the meantime he won a few in qualifying rounds and a Challenger. The best tournament of career experienced Pablo Andujar . The 27-year-old Spaniard came to Madrid having lost 11 consecutive matches lately, yet during the Mutua Madrid Open he won four matches, reaching first Masters 1000 semifinal. Arguably it was the best tournament for Stanislas Wawrinka as well. The Swiss gained his second Masters 1000 final, the previous one (Rome 2008) was a bit less demanding, because he got a quick retirement in the semifinal. This time the semifinal was very tough, he had been trailing *2:4 (15/40) in the 3rd set against Tomas Berdych, before won it 6-3 4-6 6-4. Wawrinka returns to the Top 10 for the first time since October 2008. “I’m very happy,” said Nadal after his final win over Wawrinka. “I think I played a really good match. I think I played the best match of the whole week today in the final. Being able to play here in Madrid and being able to win in front of all my people, is something really special.” The 26-year-old Mallorcan barely escaped in the quarterfinals when he was two points away against his most frequent rival on clay, David Ferrer. The older Spaniard had a comfortable position to finish a point with a forehand which could give him a double match point, instead he was lobbed, Nadal finished the point with a smash and never looked back with a 4-6 7-6(3) 6-0 victory. Nadal joins Thomas Muster in the Open era with 40 clay-court titles (55 titles altogether). He is 40-6 overall in clay finals, now only trails fellow left-hander Guillermo Vilas (46). Stats of the final
S: (5)Rafael Nadal d. (15)Stanislas Wawrinka 6-2, 6-4
D: (1)B.Bryan/M.Bryan d. (7)A.Peya/B.Soares 6-2, 6-3
# Robin Haase’s 17 lost tie-breaks in a row (new record):
2012 Indian Wells: Pablo Andujar 2-6, 6-3, 6-7(2) Miami: Jurgen Melzer 6-7(2), 6-3, 4-6 Nice: Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-7(6) Roland Garros: Mikhail Youzhny 3-6, 6-7(5), 4-6 s-Hertogenbosch: Mate Pavic 4-6, 6-7(2) Wimbledon: Juan Martin del Potro 4-6, 6-3, 6-7(3), 5-7 Kitzbuhel: Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-2 Davis Cup: Stanislas Wawrinka 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-7(4) Bangkok: Hiroki Moriya 6-2, 6-7(6), 3-6 2013 Zagreb: Jurgen Melzer 6-7(2), 3-6 Miami: David Goffin 6-7(4), 6-3, 1-6 Casablanca: Kenny De Schepper 6-2, 6-7(2), 6-3 Barcelona: Pablo Carreno Busta 1-6, 6-2, 6-7(5) Madrid: Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-2 Madrid: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-7(5), 6-7(2)