Auger-Aliassime to Round of 16 in Madrid after Menšík retires from 3rd-round match

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Montreal’s Felix Auger-Aliassime advanced to the fourth round of the Madrid Open tennis tournament Monday in a walkover after Czech opponent Jakub Menšík retired.

Auger-Aliassime was up 6-1, 1-0 through a brisk 35 minutes when Menšík conceded after being broken on the first game of the second set.

The 23-year-old Canadian won 92 per cent of first-serve points and didn’t face break point before Menšík retired. He converted all three of his break point chances.

Auger-Aliassime, ranked 35th in the world, advanced to the Round of 16 at a Masters-level event for the first time since Indian Wells in 2023.

The 18-year-old Menšík has had impressive results this season. He upset ninth-seed Grigor Dimitrov on Saturday, and defeated former No. 1 Andy Murray and current No. 8 Andrey Rublev en route to reaching the final in Doha earlier this year.

But after reaching his first ATP final, he retired with a right elbow injury in the second round of his next tournament in Dubai. He said the injury got worse at Indian Wells, where he lost in the second round.

Menšík had tape on his right arm between sets Monday.

Auger-Aliassime will next face fifth seed Casper Ruud of Norway, who posted a 6-2, 6-4 win over Britain’s Cameron Norrie on Monday.

Ruud is 3-1 in four career meetings with Auger-Aliassime. The two haven’t faced each other since the 2022 ATP Finals, when Ruud posted a 7-6 (4), 6-4 win in the round robin.

WATCH | Auger-Aliassime posts walkover win against Czech opponent:

Félix Auger-Aliassime advances at Madrid Open

Montreal’s Félix Auger-Aliassime claimed an easy 6-1, 1-0 victory Monday at the Madrid Open after Czech player Jakub Menšík retired due to injury in the second set.

Swiatek wins final 12 games vs. Sorribes Tormo

Iga Swiatek remained on track for a first Madrid Open title with a comfortable 6-1, 6-0 victory over Sara Sorribes Tormo.

The top-ranked Swiatek won the last 12 games of the match and dropped just five points in the second set, advancing to the quarterfinals in the only major European clay tournament the Pole has yet to win.

The 27th-ranked Sorribes Tormo was the last Spaniard still in the draw in Madrid.

Swiatek, who lost last year’s Madrid final to Aryna Sabalenka, will next face 11th-seeded Beatriz Haddad Maia, who defeated fifth-seeded Maria Sakkari 6-4, 6-4.

Eighth-seeded Ons Jabeur also eased past Jelena Ostapenko 6-0, 6-4, while Mirra Andreeva celebrated her 17th birthday with a 7-6 (2), 6-4 win over 12th-seeded Jasmine Paolini. The teen sensation from Russia came from 5-2 down in the first set to reach the quarterfinals, a round further than she managed in Madrid a year ago.

Andreeva will next face world No. 2 Sabalenka or 15th-ranked Danielle Collins.

Nadal tested in 3-hour victory

Rafael Nadal’s body withstood its toughest test yet at the Madrid Open as he needed three sets and more than three hours to get past 91st-ranked Pedro Cachin.

Nadal didn’t show any signs of physical limitations as he won 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-3 to make it to the round of 16 at the clay-court tournament where he is the record five-time champion. He will next face 31st-ranked Jiri Lehecka.

“I took more risks in the third set, but it’s hard after so many months without competing,” Nadal said. “I hadn’t played a match like this in a long time. Let’s see how it goes tomorrow. I don’t know how I’m going to wake up. But I’m already happy for having won three matches in a row.”

The 37-year-old Nadal is trying to get in shape for next month’s French Open. Since his latest injury layoff, he’s had two matches in Barcelona and was pessimistic about his physical condition after arriving in Madrid. But he’s won three more times in the capital.

Nadal again looked comfortable early on against Cachin. The Argentine fought back in the second set but was broken twice while serving for the set. Cachin eventually prevailed in the tiebreaker.

Nadal didn’t look as loose in the final set, but did look tired. He wasn’t as consistent with his shots but picked up three breaks to seal the victory to the delight of the local crowd in the Caja Magica.

Earlier, Daniil Medvedev came from behind to defeat Sebastian Korda 5-7, 7-6 (4), 6-3. The third-seeded Russian was two points from defeat.

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