The Wednesday night session provided some tremendous battles on the Mutua Madrid Open clay. Under the floodlights in the Spanish capital several stars sought to make it through to the second half of the week, where the dream of taking the title begins to look more like reality.
In the longest clash of the day, Pablo Cuevas put on a masterclass of grit and determination to win his respect on the Caja Mágica clay. Now, having made it through a match of two hours and 49 minutes, the player from Concordia came back to win 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(4) against Frenchman Gael Monfils, the ATP world number 15, to book a place in the round of 16 against Nick Kyrgios.
Jack Sock took his match with Juan Martín del Potro past midnight before eventually seeing off the Argentinian 6-4, 7-6(2) on Court 6. The Nebraska native caught the South American off-guard, the two had never shared a court before and the match was decided with just one break of serve. The US player will now meet the Portuguese Joao Sousa for a place in the quarters.
The match that brought the day to an end in the Manolo Santana Court saw Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeat Albert Ramos 7-6, 5-7, 6-4 in two hours and 41 minutes. The Frenchman, who now has a 4-0 record against the player from Barcelona, will be bidding for a place in the quarter-finals against Milos Raonic.
Intensity in the women’s competition
Dominika Cibulkova made the most of an open top half of the draw. In a tight match, the Slovak, who earlier saw off the first seed, came back against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to win 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 in two hours and nine minutes of play. She will meet the Romanian Sorana Cirstea in the last sixteen. The player from Bucharest, who received a wildcard from the tournament, beat the German Laura Siegemund 6-4, 7-6(9) in a very close tie in which she saved three set points to prevent the decider.
One of the biggest upsets of the day was provided by the Romanian Patricia Maria Tig, who came through qualifying, has now reached the quarter-finals of the tournament after a 6-3, 6-4 victory over US player Madison Keys. As she bids to improve on the best result of her professional career, she will now meet Samantha Stosur for a place in the semi-finals.