Simona Halep blew Paula Badosa away with a Madrid Open masterclass to reach the round of 16 on Saturday.

Second seed Badosa had no answer to the brilliance of Halep in her homeland as the relentless Romanian won 6-3 6-1 at the Caja Magica.

Unseeded two-time grand slam champion Halep took just an hour and 17 minutes to eliminate Badosa, breaking three times in the first set and twice in the second.

Halep, in a new era with Patrick Mouratoglou in her corner, won 84 per cent of points when she landed her first serve in, staying in the hunt to win this tournament for a third time with the French Open on the horizon.

The former world number one will face Coco Gauff for a place in the quarter-finals following the American's 6-1 2-6 6-4 late-night defeat of Yulia Putintseva.

Gauff, the 14th seed, racked up 10 double faults and was pushed all the way by Putintseva, but served out the match after securing a third break in a tight final set.

Ons Jabeur earlier advanced into the third round at the expense of Varvara Gracheva, recovering from a second-set bagel to win 7-5 0-6 6-4.

Jabeur faces a meeting with Belinda Bencic after the Swiss dispatched Karolina Muchova 6-3 4-6 7-5.

Victoria Azarenka came from a set down to beat Tamara Zidansek 3-6 6-1 6-3 to set up a meeting with Amanda Anisimova, who also had to come from behind to dispatch Petra Martic 3-6 6-3 6-2.

Ekaterina Alexandrova and Marie Bouzkova also progressed in the Spanish capital.

 

 

Frances Tiafoe downed fellow American Sebastian Korda in a hard-fought encounter to reach the final of the Estoril Open, while Holger Rune reached a first title match at the BMW Open.

Korda had eliminated top seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarter-finals in Portugal to set up an all-American last-four clash, and looked on course to reach the final after winning the first set against Tiafoe.

However, the fifth seed roared back to seal a 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 victory and set up a final encounter with Argentina's Sebastian Baez, who beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas to reach his second tour-level final.

Baez also needed three sets in his semi-final clash after losing a competitive second-set tie-break, but he then produced a scintillating performance to win the decider without dropping a game, winning 6-3 6-7 (7-9) 6-0.

Elsewhere, Danish 19-year-old Rune sealed his first ATP tour final appearance by beating home favourite Oscar Otte 6-4 6-4 at the BMW Open in Munich.

Rune, who has enjoyed a dream week in Bavaria after sensationally downing Alexander Zverev in the last-16 and failing to drop a single set in the tournament, revealed his ambitions to become world number one in the future after the victory.

"It's a pretty unreal feeling," he said of his semi-final win. "I didn't expect this at all coming into this tournament, and I just took it match by match. Obviously, I had a tough draw, playing Zverev in the second round, but I knew it was going to be tough, so I was ready from the beginning, and I'm super happy to be in the final.

"It's getting better and better, I'm improving every day, and this is what matters. I have some goals to be number one in the world, and you have to start somewhere."

Rune will face eighth seed Botic van de Zandschulp in the final after the Dutchman rallied to beat Miomir Kecmanovic 2-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in his own final-four encounter. 

Carlos Alcaraz has learned never to give up after facing Rafael Nadal, with the pair on a collision course to meet again in next week's Madrid Open quarter-finals.

Alcaraz has enjoyed a hugely impressive season to date, having last week added the Barcelona Open to the titles won in Rio de Janeiro and Miami already in 2022.

Following on from that triumph in Catalonia, Alcaraz – who turns 19 next week – became the youngest male player to break into the top 10 since Nadal 17 years ago.

He boasts a record of 23-3 this year, one of those defeats coming at the hands of Spanish great Nadal in the semi-finals of Indian Wells in March.

That encounter lasted over three hours, with Nadal digging deep in California to prevail 6-4 4-6 6-3, only to lose in the final to Taylor Fritz.

Nadal was clearly troubled by injury during his defeat to Fritz and has subsequently taken a break to recover from a rib problem.

The pair are set to collide once again in Madrid next week should they both come through their second and third-round matches.

Speaking ahead of the draw being made on Friday, Alcaraz revealed he has taken inspiration from facing Nadal, who won a record 21st Grand Slam at the 2022 Australian open.

"I learned about the fighting spirit, of never giving up," the teenager told Spanish talk show El Hormiguero.

"Many people will have also seen the Australian Open match, he was losing and came back almost miraculously.

"From that match against him [at Indian Wells] I get the fighting spirit, never give up and fight until the last ball."

Top seed Novak Djokovic is also in Alcaraz and Nadal's side of the Madrid Open draw, while Andy Murray and Dominic Thiem will meet in the pick of the first-round clashes.

Top seed Felix Auger-Aliassime fell to Sebastian Korda in the Estoril Open quarter-finals, while Casper Ruud was sent packing at the BMW Open. 

Auger-Aliassime won just 50 per cent of points behind his first serve as Korda claimed an impressive 6-2 6-2 success over the Canadian in one hour and 29 minutes. 

In the semi-finals Korda will take on fellow American Frances Tiafoe, who edged out Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 7-6 (7-5) 5-7 7-5 in a tight encounter. 

The other last-four clash will see Albert Ramos Vinolas take on Sebastian Baez. 

Ramos Vinolas bested Fernando Verdasco 6-2 6-2 to set up his meeting with Baez after the Argentine rallied from a set down to defeat Richard Gasquet 3-6 6-1 6-4. 

At the BMW Open, second seed Ruud fell to Botic van de Zandschulp in the quarter-finals. 

The Dutchman won their only previous encounter en route to the last eight at last year's US Open and he triumphed 7-5 6-1 in Munich. 

"Maybe the score is easier than it really was," said Van de Zandschulp. "The first set [was] really tight, I think. A great battle in the first one. I had some opportunities to break him in the beginning and didn't take them. Gladly [at] five-all I made the break and held the serve at 6-5. 

"[The] second set was a little bit easier, but I think I played really well today." 

Next up for Van de Zandschulp is Miomir Kecmanovic, who defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-6 (7-5) 6-2. Holger Rune will continue his impressive run against Oscar Otte in the other semi-final after they overcame Emil Ruusuvuori and Alejandro Tabilo respectively. 

Naomi Osaka was encouraged by her 2022 clay-court debut, winning her opening match at the Madrid Open against Anastasia Potapova.

The former world number one has not played on the red dirt since the 2021 French Open, where she withdrew citing mental health issues.

Heading into this week in Madrid, Osaka had an underwhelming 20-15 record on clay, with each of her grand slam successes coming on hard courts.

But the 24-year-old has spoken of adjusting her approach and learning from clay king Rafael Nadal – and the early signs were positive.

She needed just over an hour to defeat Potapova 6-3 6-1 on Friday and said: "I'm honestly trying to be more positive with myself.

"This year I came a week early to train on red clay, so I'm just trying to give myself more chances to do better.

Osaka added: "To be able to do it in two sets, for me, it's a really good starting block. 

"I think today for me it was really fun, just being able to be back on the clay and not taking those moments for granted."

Fellow hard-court major champions Emma Raducanu and Bianca Andreescu also won their openers, although the latter required three sets to eventually coast past Alison Riske 6-4 3-6 6-0.

Raducanu will play another 19-year-old in the second round, with the US Open champion paired with Marta Kostyuk after getting over a slightly slow start to thrash Tereza Martincova 7-6 (7-3) 6-0.

Fourth seed Maria Sakkari overcame a scare, meanwhile, ending her losing run at three matches by coming from behind to defeat Madison Keys in three sets.

"Overall, it was a very positive match to get myself back in the winning feeling," the Greek said.

Boris Becker has received a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence for breaking the United Kingdom's insolvency laws.

He was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court in London on Friday. 

The six-time grand slam champion had denied violating the Insolvency Act after he was declared bankrupt in 2017.

Becker, 54, owed creditors close to £50million at the time of his bankruptcy. However, he has now been found guilty of hiding assets and loans in order to avoid paying his debts.

The German was cleared of 20 counts but found guilty of four charges by a jury earlier this month. 

Becker was previously given a two-year suspended sentence for tax evasion and attempted tax evasion in Germany in 2002.

Felix Auger-Aliassime survived an early scare to reach the Estoril Open quarter-finals with victory over Carlos Taberner on Thursday.

The top seed is targeting a second title of 2022, having already triumphed in Rotterdam earlier in the campaign.

However, his quest looked in doubt when Taberner dominated the opening set 6-1.

But the world number 10 responded in equally commanding fashion; controlling the next two sets to prevail a 1-6 6-2 6-2 victor.

Auger-Aliassime, who also overcame Taberner in Barcelona last week, will play Sebastian Korda in the last eight after the American beat Benjamin Bonzi 6-3 6-3.

Meanwhile, Santiago finalist Sebastian Baez is through to his third quarter-final of 2022. The world number 59 recovered from a set down to deny third seed Marin Cilic 1-6 6-1 6-4.

Richard Gasquet awaits after the 2015 champion beat Hugo Dellien 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.

Over in Munich, second seed Casper Ruud took a while to find his groove before overcoming Slovakia's Alex Molcan 3-6 6-4 6-4.

Following Alexander Zverev's exit on Wednesday, the Norwegian is the highest remaining seed and is targeting a second title of the season having triumphed in Buenos Aires two months ago.

Next up for him is Botic van de Zandschulp, who won 86 per cent of his points on first serve as he defeated Egor Gerasimov 6-2 6-3.

Meanwhile, Oscar Otte stunned third seed Reilly Opelka 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 to reach his second quarter-final in as many weeks, having also reached that stage in Belgrade.

The German will play Cordoba runner-up Alejandro Tabilo, who advanced following the retirement of opponent Hugo Gaston through injury. 

Amanda Anisimova celebrated her fifth career top-10 win by beating Aryna Sabalenka again at the Madrid Open.

The 20-year-old American would have headed into Thursday's match-up full of confidence having also defeated the world number four in Charleston earlier this month.

And again Anisimova came out on top, this time at a tournament where Sabalenka was the defending champion.

Sabalenka is now 0-4 against Anisimova, losing three times on clay, with this the underdog's first ever victory in Madrid.

A 6-2 3-6 6-4 triumph was sealed in an hour and 55 minutes, with Anisimova relishing the opportunity to take on one of the sport's foremost stars once more.

"It's always enjoyable to accept the challenge, even when it's a tough match, and push yourself and see how far you can go," Anisimova said.

"I enjoy these matches, even though they're very tough – especially when you get to win them."

While Anisimova can look forward to facing Petra Martic in round two, hers was not the only upset win, with Karolina Pliskova and Jelena Ostapenko also ousted.

Pliskova lost in straight sets to fellow Czech Marie Bouzkova, as Ostapenko went down in three to Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Simona Halep and next opponent Paula Badosa both came through unscathed, though, as did Belinda Bencic, Coco Gauff and Ons Jabeur.

Jabeur's 11-9 first-set tie-break success against Jasmine Paolini was the closest any of that quintet came to dropping a set on day one.

Alexander Zverev is out of the BMW Open after a shock straight-sets defeat to Holger Rune in the last 16 in Munich.

The world number three and top seed had no answer to an impressive performance from Rune, with the young Dane ultimately easing to a 6-3 6-2 victory on Wednesday.

Rune set the tempo early on, moving Zverev around the court with plenty of drop shots and heading into a 4-2 lead, before saving two break points on his way to clinching the first set.

An early break in the second then seemed to give the 18-year-old the confidence to see out his first career victory against a top 10 opponent.

"It was a difficult match from the beginning," said Rune on-court after the win. "He's in the top three in the world and has been playing some unbelievable tennis, especially in the past year winning so many big titles.

"I have a lot of respect for him, and I obviously didn't expect to win in two sets, and with a score like this. But it was a really hard match, we played a lot of rallies and I'm really happy about my performance today."

Rune will play Emil Ruusuvuori in the quarter-finals after the Finn beat Maxime Cressy 6-3 6-3.

Elsewhere, fourth seed Nikoloz Basilashvili came from behind to overcome Ilya Ivashka 3-6 6-2 6-4, and will face Miomir Kecmanovic in the last eight after the seventh seed beat Daniel Altmaier 6-2 6-4.

There were also three round of 32 matches on Wednesday, with eighth seed Botic van de Zandschulp, Egor Gerasimov and Alejandro Tabilo all through to the last 16 in Munich.

Over at the Estoril Open, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina will play Frances Tiafoe in the quarter-finals after both advanced in Portugal.

Fourth seed Davidovich Fokina beat fellow Spaniard Bernabe Zapata Miralles 6-3 7-6 (7-5) while fifth seed Tiafoe got the better of Nuno Borges 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 6-0.

Fernando Verdasco is also through after a 6-2 6-3 win against Pablo Cuevas, and he will play fellow Spaniard and sixth seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who came from a set down against Kwon Soon-woo, 5-7 6-1 6-2.

Emma Raducanu hailed Torben Beltz as "one of the nicest people I've met", despite deciding to split from the German coach.

The US Open champion parted company with Beltz on Tuesday after just five months together.

The duo began working together in November but have now split as the world number 11 plots the way forward ahead of the French Open and Wimbledon.

"Torben is a great guy. I really enjoyed my time with him on and off the court," Raducanu said while preparing for the Madrid Open on Wednesday. 

"He is one of the nicest people I've met, so obviously it was a tough one to split with someone like that.

"But I feel like right now I'm very comfortable with my current training. I'm feeling very confident in what I'm doing and how I'm working.

"I feel like over the last few weeks it's definitely become more apparent and especially as I've spent more time on the tour playing more matches against these top opponents, that I kind of understand what I feel like I need more of.

"I think Torben has been great for me because when I wanted someone with tour experience, I think for my first six months on the tour, it was very valuable."

The 19-year-old has recently enjoyed her best week of the season, winning back-to-back matches at the Stuttgart Open, before putting in a respectable performance in defeat to world number one Iga Swiatek.

Beltz is the third coach to move on from working with Raducanu in the last 12 months. She swapped Nigel Sears for Andrew Richardson, who worked with her at the US Open, before deciding to bring in Beltz, who previously worked with Angelique Kerber and Donna Vekic.

Raducanu is scheduled to face Czech player Tereza Martincova on Friday in Madrid and will be assisted by Iain Bates at the tournament, the long-serving head of women's tennis at the Lawn Tennis Association.

Naomi Osaka believes teen tennis star Carlos Alcaraz has rejuvenated excitement around the ATP Tour, while she labelled Rafael Nadal as an inspiration ahead of the Madrid Open.

Alcaraz needed just 67 minutes to defeat Spanish compatriot Pablo Carreno-Busta 6-3 6-2 at the Barcelona Open last Sunday, claiming his third title of the season after wins in Rio de Janeiro and Miami.

The 18-year-old has surged to a career-high ninth in the world rankings, Alcaraz becoming the youngest player to crack the top 10 since fellow Spaniard Nadal achieved that feat at the same age in 2005.

Coincidentally, Nadal also broke into the top 10 after success on the same day (April 25) at the Barcelona Open and the pair will next compete in Madrid in the ATP 1000 Masters event, which starts on Sunday.

Former women's world number one Osaka revealed she is keen to cast an eye over the duo in the Spanish capital, where she faces a qualifier in the first round, as she hailed the impact Alcaraz has had.

"I feel like he's genuinely made everyone excited about the ATP and I haven't seen that in a very long time," Madrid Open wildcard Osaka said of Alcaraz, who boasts an impressive 23-3 record in the 2022 season.

"I'm not even really thinking about his age, like every time someone brings up his age, I'm like, 'Oh wow, I forget, that's so cool'.

"I think just his game style, just how pumped he is, how I feel like I'm watching him learn with every tournament.

"I don't know what his ranking was last year here, but I've watched almost every tournament that he's played, the US Open when he played [Stefanos] Tsitsipas and just to see the growth I think is really exciting for everyone."

Osaka has won all four of her grand slam titles on hard courts, but the 24-year-old will now search for clay-court success in Madrid.

Japanese Osaka has spent time preparing in Majorca, where she has used 13-time French Open winner Nadal as an inspiration, given his expertise on clay courts.

"I think I stole one of the things that he did and I've been practising it recently," she said of Nadal, who holds the record for most men's grand slam titles with 21 major triumphs to his name.

"It'll either go really good or really bad. There's like no in between. But I think as I've been doing it, it's been going pretty well.

"Honestly I've been wanting to watch the really good clay-court players practice because I feel like I'm the type of person that learns really fast if I see it up close and honestly it's a bit of a waste to have all these really good professional tennis players and not watch them."

Osaka suffered a second-round exit at the Indian Wells Masters in March, impacted by abuse from a heckler in the crowd, but rebounded by making the final in Miami, where she lost to world number one Iga Swiatek.

However, Osaka is looking to use the experience at Indian Wells, where she was reduced to tears by a spectator reportedly shouting "Naomi, you suck", as a learning curve to develop.

"I feel like there are a lot of moments in my career that are like extremely sad for me at the time but I kind of later look back on it and I think to myself, 'Well that really made me grow as a person, and even though I really hated the experience, I'm glad it happened to me'," she added.

"For me, that's one of those moments. I wish it didn't happen, but also I'm glad that it did.

"I feel like it prepared me for a lot of things that may or may not happen, but it's kind of like one of those things you have in your back pocket as experience."

World number one Iga Swiatek will not play the Madrid Open after suffering a shoulder injury.

The Pole is in stunning form, having won four titles in a row after prevailing in the Stuttgart Open last time out.

Before that, the 20-year-old – whose winning streak stands at 23 matches – had lifted the trophy at the Qatar Ladies Open, Indian Wells and Miami Open.

"After intense last weeks and winning four titles in a row, it's time to take care of my arm that has been fatigued since the Miami Open and I haven't had a chance to handle it properly," Swiatek, the 2020 French Open champion, wrote in a statement posted to Twitter.

"I need a break from playing so intensively in order to treat my arm well and that's why, unfortunately, I have to withdraw from the Mutua Madrid Open. 

"My body needs rest. I'm going to take some time to prepare for Rome and Paris. See you soon there.

"Hopefully, I will play in Madrid many times in the future – I'm looking forward to it."

Swiatek was due to be top seed in the Spanish capital.

Dominic Thiem's wait for the first win of his comeback goes on after he lost to Benjamin Bonzi at the Estoril Open.

Thiem was competing in just his second tour-level event of 2022 after suffering a wrist tear last June, having lost to John Millman at the Serbia Open last week. 

The 2020 US Open champion could not find a way through against Bonzi, who did not face a break point in prevailing 6-3 7-6 (11-9).

Bonzi will next face Sebastian Korda, the eighth seed a straight-sets winner over Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

Fifth seed Frances Tiafoe and sixth seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas defeated Dusan Lajovic and Jordan Thompson respectively, but seventh seed Tommy Paul lost to veteran Richard Gasquet.

At the BMW Open in Munich, sixth seed Dan Evans lost in his first match for the fourth time in five tournaments.

The sixth seed was beaten 6-4 6-4 by Maxime Cressy, while there were wins for Hugo Gaston, Ilya Ivashka and Oscar Otte.

Rafael Nadal plans to make his return from injury in his homeland at the Madrid Open next week.

Nadal has been sidelined since suffering a cracked rib during the Indian Wells Masters last month.

The 21-time grand slam champion on Tuesday revealed he has decided to make his ATP Tour comeback at the Caja Magica.

He posted on social media: "Despite preparation being difficult, I really want to play at home since the opportunities are few.

"[I want] To try to do it in the best possible way. See you in Madrid."

Taylor Fritz consigned Nadal, a five-time champion at the Madrid Open, to his first defeat of the year in the final at Indian Wells.

The Australian Open champion was visibly struggling to breath during that match after sustaining the injury during a semi-final victory over fellow Spaniard and heir apparent Carlos Alcaraz. The 35-year-old's 2022 record so far stands at 20-1.

Nadal's return is set to make his comeback just three weeks before he will be hoping to start his bid to win a 14th French Open title at Roland Garros.

Roger Federer will make his comeback at the Laver Cup in September before playing the Swiss Indoors Basel event in his home city.

It means the legendary 20-time grand slam winner is set to miss all four majors this year.

The eight-time Wimbledon champion will turn 41 in August, and it remains to be seen whether the two events turn out to be farewell tournaments before he retires.

Federer has battled knee trouble over the past two years and has barely featured on the ATP Tour, with his most recent appearance coming at Wimbledon last year, where he was beaten in the quarter-finals by Hubert Hurkacz, a straight-sets defeat that culminated in a 6-0 third set.

The Swiss great has undergone surgery in an effort to finish his career on his own terms.

News of his comeback plans were announced by the Swiss Indoors organisers, who issued a statement that said: "Ten-time singles champion and hometown hero Roger Federer has announced his comeback to the stadium at St Jakobshalle. The Swiss all-time great has confirmed his initial agenda will include the Laver Cup in London followed by the Swiss Indoors in Basel."

Responding to the announcement, Federer posted on Instagram: "Looking forward to playing back home."

The Laver Cup takes place in London from September 23 to 25, and the Swiss Indoors Basel runs from October 24 to 30.

Federer will play his opening match at the latter on Tuesday, October 25, the organisers said.

"The worldwide interest in the return of the hometown hero and 20-time grand slam champion to the ATP Tour is expected to be tremendous," the Swiss Indoors statement added.

Federer for a long time held the record for the most grand slam singles titles won by a man; however, he has been joined on 20 by Novak Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal moved out on his own with 21 by triumphing at the Australian Open this year.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.