After the Australian Nick Kyrgios showed the door to top seed Roger Federer in the second round, the young gun fell to the big-serving American John Isner in his next match in the Mutua Madrid Open. The hard-fought match with Federer probably brought fatigue, which Kyrgios probably couldn’t overcome against Isner. Elsewhere in the men’s draw, Rafael Nadal looked like his old self in easing past Italy’s Simone Bolelli, Andy Murray entered the quarterfinals after sweeping past Marcel Granollers, Kei Nishikori brushed aside a challenge from Roberto Bautista Agut and David Ferrer defeated compatriot Fernando Verdasco in three sets. In women’s draw, Serena Williams was unstoppable with a quarterfinal victory over Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro. Apart from Serena, two other past women’s champions booked their places in the semifinals. Defending champion Maria Sharapova knocked out Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki while the 2011 champion Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic got past Romanian Camelia Begu.
After causing the biggest upset of the week on Wednesday, Australian Nick Kyrgios lost to USA’s John Isner in third round on Thursday night. It was a sad exit for the world no.2 Federer after he had taken the first set from Kyrgios 7-6. The Australian youngster matched his childhood idol point for point afterwards in a match, each set of which was decided on tiebreaks. The three-time Mutua Madrid winner was fully stretched and lost the next two sets 6-7, 6-7 after holding two match points in the third-set tiebreak that ended at 14-12 in Kyrgios’ favor. The 20-year old Australian, however looked jaded against John Isner in the third round as he went down 3-6, 7-6, 6-4 against the giant American, who fired 20 aces in the one hour 45 minute match.
Newly married Scotsman Andy Murray was in firm control against Spanish wild card Marcel Granollers as he beat him 6-2, 6-0 in just over an hour. The 2008 Mutua Madrid champion had come through in the earlier round under difficult circumstances playing until the wee hours of Thursday morning against Philipp Kohlschreiber, before beating the German 6-4, 3-6, 6-0. His opponent in the quarterfinal will be Canada’s Milos Raonic, who defeated Leonardo Mayer of Argentina 6-4, 6-3.
Seventh seeded David Ferrer set up a quarterfinal clash with Kei Nishikori of Japan after defeating compatriot Fernando Verdasco 5-7, 6-3, 6-4. It was Ferrer’s 29th win of 2015 season, which came in 2 hours and 27 minutes after Ferrer converted three of his eight break points. On his part, Nishikori had a relatively easy 6-3, 6-3 victory over Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut. Double defending champion Rafael Nadal played a great game against Italy’s Simone Bolelli and won his match 6-2, 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals. For the place in the semifinals, Nadal will take on Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, who upset eighth seed Stan Wawrinka 7-6, 3-6, 6-3 in under two hours. Nadal has yet to win a European clay court tournament this season after defeats to Novak Djokovic at Monte Carlo Masters and Fabio Fognini at Barcelona Open last month.
In the women’s draw, the semifinal line-up is already decided. Serena Williams had an easy 6-1, 6-3 win against Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro. Serena’s semifinal opponent will be Czech Republic’s 2011 champion Petra Kvitova, who came through after beating Romanian Irina Camelia Begu 7-5, 6-3. Playing back-to-back three-set matches, Russia’s defending champion Maria Sharapova beat Denmark’ Caroline Wozniacki 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 after being on court for 2 hours. Next up for Sharapova is compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova, who had an over 3-hour quarterfinal against Czech Lucie Safarova before winning 5-7, 7-6, 7-6.