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TENNIS

Andy Murray confident ahead of Madrid open

Andy Murray arrived in the Spanish capital at the start of the Madrid Masters on Tuesday buoyed by his first clay court title in Munich.

Andy Murray confident ahead of Madrid open
Andy Murray beat Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber in Munich on May 4th. Photo: Christof Stache

The British Wimbledon champion was working to acclamatize to Madrid, heading quickly to the practise courts for an acclimatising hit-out on the Madrid clay.

"Conditions last week were very different to what they are here. Obviously I think a little bit more altitude here. But it's been very warm. Last week it was very cold a lot of the days and raining.

"It's going to be a tricky turnaround."

In first-round play, tenth seed Grigor Dimitrov advanced when Donald Young retired trailing 6-4, 3-0.

The seeded French pair of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils advanced comfortably, with number 12 Tsonga beating Lukas Rosol 7-5, 6-3 and 13th-seeded Gael Monfils crushing Viktor Troicki 6-2, 6-0.

Estoril finalist Nick Kyrgios beat Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-2, 6-3 to set up a match with top seed Roger Federer.

In women's matches at the ATP-WTA tournament, holder Maria Sharapova beat Mariana Duque 6-1, 6-2 and began moving into position for a possible return to the number two rankings she lost through a second-round Stuttgart exit last month.

The Russian needs to reach the Madrid final to replace Simon Halep on second after the Romanian was sent out in the first round at the weekend.

But five-time Grand Slam winner Sharapova is not concerned with the details.

"I face the ranking questions every single week obviously because ranking is a big part of the sport. It's not my main purpose and my main goal.

"If I'm not ready to beat someone towards the later stage of a tournament, then I'm not ready to beat them from the very beginning. My goal is to win championships."

Petra Kvitova, the 2011 champion and fourth seed, advanced to the third round over American CoCo Vandeweghe 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.

Victoria Azarenka, losing finalist to the Czech here four years ago, beat Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia 6-3, 6-3.

That victory moved the former number one into a confrontation with top seed Serena Williams, with the challenger having won two of their last five matches dating to early 2013.

Ana Ivanovic, seeded seventh, beat Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-4 while 14th seed Karolina Pliskova and number 15 Sara Errani both lost.

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TENNIS

IN PICS: Rafa Nadal weds childhood sweetheart in Mallorca

Rafael Nadal married his partner of 14 years, Xisca Perello, at a castle in Mallorca on Saturday.

IN PICS: Rafa Nadal weds childhood sweetheart in Mallorca
Photo: Fundacion Rafa Nadal

Nadal, the 19-time grand slam champion, tied the knot with 31-year-old Perello at La Fortaleza, with a reported 350 guests invited to a private ceremony.

Juan Carlos I, the king of Spain from 1975 to 2014, was believed to be among those in attendance while the Michelin-star chef, Quique Dacosta, was reportedly in charge of catering.

The newlyweds shared some official photos of the day through the Fundacion Rafa Nadal, the NGO the tennis player set up on Mallorca

Photo: Fundacion Rafa Nadal

 

Nadal, 33, met his wife through his younger sister Maribel, a childhood friend of Perello.

They started dating in 2005 when they were both teenagers after meeting several years before.


Photo: Fundacion Rafa Nadal

The couple announced their engagement in January and revealed that the tennis ace had proposed on a romantic trip to Rome last May but chose to  keep the news private.

 

Perello, has always shunned the media spotlight although she has been pictured courtside at some of Nadal’s biggest matches.


Nadal kisses Perello after winning against France's Gael Monfils in the final tennis match at the Monte-Carlo ATP Masters Series Tournament in Monaco on April 17, 2016. 

But she isn't always there. In a 2011 interview with The Daily Telegraph, Perello explained: “He needs his space when he is competing, and just the idea of me hanging around and waiting on his needs all day tires me out.

“It would asphyxiate me. And then he would have to be worrying about me… No. If I followed him everywhere, I think there's a risk we might stop getting along.”

She works in insurance and is a business graduate but also serves as project director for the Rafa Nadal Foundation, the charity which Nadal launched almost ten years ago.

In an interview with sports newspaper Marca last year, the world number 2 hinted that he wouldn't be ready to start a family until he had retired from tennis. 

'I keep my commitment with tennis and my happiness', Nadal told Marca. 'I enjoy both in tennis and outside it. I have a girlfriend too and I am not alone to take decisions.

“Having family? I don't know, things are not easy to be predict. At this age, I thought that I would have already been a former player and that I would have started a family.”

READ ALSO: Rafa Nadal donates €1million to help victims of Mallorca floods 

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