Djokovic beats Coric, advances to Madrid Open 3rd round
“I thought I was serving quite well in the practice sessions, but then the first set went well, the second, not so much,” said Djokovic, who claimed his only Madrid title in 2011 when he beat Rafael Nadal in the final. “The first serve percentage could have been higher and should be higher for the upcoming matches. But I’m satisfied with my game.” Coric’s style has been compared to that of ‘a young Djokovic,’ and the Serb said his opponent had a “nice balance between confident approach and self-belief on the court, and is not really intimidated by anyone’s presence.” Djokovic said he could “identify myself with him because we have very similar backgrounds, coming from Croatia and Serbia. We have the same mentality, speak the same language and more or the less same trajectory or path to professional tennis.”
Tennis fans are bound to see more of Coric, Djokovic predicted, adding: “And I’ll be glad to help him become better.” Djokovic’s next opponent will be Roberto Bautista Agut. Also, Nick Kyrgios of Australia put in a hard-hitting performance to beat fourth-seeded Stan Wawrinka of Swizterland 7-6 (7), 7-6 (2), while sixth-seeded Kei Nishikori advanced by beating Fabio Fognini 6-2, 3-6, 7-5. Sam Querrey of the United States defeated Lucas Pouille of France 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 and eighth-seeded Tomas Berdych beat Denis Istomin 6-3, 6-3. In the women’s draw, fourth-seeded Victoria Azarenka pulled out of the tournament because of a lower back injury. The 26-year-old Azarenka said she “tweaked” her back during her opening match against Laura Robson and that the pain persisted during her second-round win.
Murray cruises into Madrid Open quarters
Defending champion Andy Murray cruised into the quarter-finals of the Madrid Open tennis tournament on Thursday with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Gilles Simon.
Radek Stepanek in his opening second round match on Tuesday evening and dominated against Simon, wrapping up victory over the Frenchman in one hour and 39 minutes.
Murray claimed his 14th win in 16 meetings with Simon as he set up a quarter-final clash with either Tomas Berdych or David Ferrer. “I didn’t return that well at the beginning,” Murray said in an on-court television interview after the match. “But when I got into a rhythm, I was able to dictate a lot of points. I used my variety well and served well. He wasn’t able to put me under much pressure on my serve after the first couple of games.”
“It’s obviously very tricky against Simon. He lulls you into a false sense of security in points. Sometimes the better you hit the ball, the better it comes back. It’s tough to get the balance between being aggressive and being patient.”