Nadal too strong for Kyrgios in Madrid
Rafael Nadal was in a ruthless mood on Thursday in Madrid, beating Aussie No.1 Nick Kyrgios for the loss of just four games to reach the quarterfinals.
Nine-time French Open champion has handed Australia’s Nick Kyrgios a claycourt lesson at the Madrid Open.
Fourth seed Nadal won 6-3 6-1 in 72 minutes in a match which showed promise early but quickly became a procession.
Nadal served first, racing to a 30-0 lead before Kyrgios made an early declaration of intent with a stunning two-handed return.
The Spaniard had some work to do to get back into the fourth game, but luck was on his side when his drop shot hit the net, gifting the four-time Madrid champion the early break.
It was the start of three consecutive breaks of service. Kyrgios immediately squared the ledger, singing along to compatriot Sia’s “Chandelier” at the change of ends.
He had little to sing about soon after, double-faulting to give Nadal another break. The Australian held on in the eighth game, but the hometown hero took the first set 6-3.
It took until the fifth game of the second set for Kyrgios to get on the board and avoid the ignominy of his first bagel – a set without winning a game – on the men’s tour.
That was as good as it got for the 22-year-old. Nadal soon found himself with three match points, and Kyrgios perhaps had another Sia hit – The Greatest – bouncing around his head.
“I played a lot better,” said Nadal, who struggled in a three-set win over Fabio Fognini on Wednesday “It was a big step forward.”
Nadal will face David Goffin in the quarterfinals after the Belgian beat fifth seed Milos Raonic 6-4 6-2.