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Alcaraz, Sabalenka shine in Madrid Open second round victories

Posted : 26 April 2024

In the Madrid Open, defending champions Carlos Alcaraz and Aryna Sabalenka showcased their resilience in the Spanish capital on Friday, securing victories in their opening matches to advance to the third round.


Alcaraz, returning after a month's absence due to a forearm issue, dominated his match against Alexander Shevchenko with a commanding 6-2, 6-1 win, expressing relief at his return to form. The Spaniard, ranked third in the world, displayed his trademark aggression and secured a swift victory, setting up a third-round clash against Thiago Seyboth Wild.


Meanwhile, Sabalenka faced a stern challenge from Magda Linette in a tense three-set encounter, eventually prevailing 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. Despite struggling since her Australian Open triumph, Sabalenka demonstrated her resilience, sealing the win with powerful serves and strategic play. The Belarusian, ranked second in the world, expressed satisfaction with her victory and looks ahead to a third-round encounter against either Katie Boulter or Robin Montgomery.


In other matches, Andrey Rublev ended a four-match losing streak with a comprehensive 6-1, 6-4 victory over Facundo Bagnis, signaling a return to form after recent setbacks. Polish player Hubert Hurkacz delivered a dominant performance, firing nine aces en route to a 6-1, 7-5 victory over Jack Draper. However, Zheng Qinwen's campaign was cut short due to a thigh injury, forcing her to retire from her match against Yulia Putintseva.


As the tournament progresses, players like Alcaraz, Sabalenka, Rublev, and Hurkacz will look to maintain their momentum and secure further victories on the clay courts of Madrid, while others aim to bounce back from early exits and injuries. With each match presenting new challenges, the stage is set for thrilling encounters and unpredictable outcomes in one of tennis's premier tournaments.


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