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Madrid Open 2019: Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer Cruise to Wins in Tuesday's Play

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMay 7, 2019

Serbia's Novak Djokovic returns the ball to US Taylor Fritz during their ATP Madrid Open round of 64 tennis match at the Caja Magica in Madrid on May 7, 2019. (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP)        (Photo credit should read OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP/Getty Images)
OSCAR DEL POZO/Getty Images

Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep eased through to the third round of the 2019 Madrid Open on Tuesday.

The former beat Taylor Fritz, while the latter saw off Johanna Konta, both in straight sets. 

Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem also enjoyed victories in the Spanish capital. The Swiss star comfortably saw off Richard Gasquet in straight sets, while Thiem was into a third set against Reilly Opelka when the American was forced to retire after having treatment on a back injury.

Women's No. 1 seed Naomi Osaka needed three sets to get past Sara Sorribes Tormo but finished strongly as she won 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-0. However, Angelique Kerber was forced to withdraw from his match against Petra Martic due to an ankle injury.

Stan Wawrinka also advanced courtesy of his victory over Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

                    

Selected Men's Singles Results

Stan Wawrinka bt. Pierre-Hugues Herbert, 6-2, 6-3

(1) Novak Djokovic bt. Taylor Fritz, 6-4, 6-2

(9) Marin Cilic bt. Jan-Lennard Struff 4-6, 6-3, 6-4

(4) Roger Federer bt. Richard Gasquet 6-2, 6-3

(5) Dominic Thiem bt. Reilly Opelka 6-7 (2), 6-1, 1-0 (Opelka retired)

                      

Selected Women's Singles Results

(3) Simona Halep bt. Johanna Konta, 7-5, 6-1

(1) Naomi Osaka bt. Sara Sorribes Tormo, 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-0

Kateryna Kozlova bt. (5) Karolina Pliskova 7-5, 2-6, 6-4

Petra Martic vs. (4) Angelique Kerber (retired)

Full results can be found at the tournament's official website.

                

Selected Wednesday Fixtures

Felix Auger-Aliassime vs. (2) Rafael Nadal

Laslo Dere vs. (7) Juan Martin del Potro

(11) Karen Khachanov vs. Fernando Verdasco

(7) Kiki Bertens vs. (12) Anastasija Sevastova

(9) Ash Barty vs. Yulia Putintseva

The full schedule can be found at the tournament's official website.

            

Djokovic barely broke a sweat as he eased past Fritz in a similar fashion to their meeting at the Monte-Carlo Masters last month, which ended 6-3, 6-0.

There was little the American could do to get close to the No. 1 seed, who played some superb shots at times:

Tennis TV @TennisTV

The @DjokerNole backspin 🤤 #MMOpen https://t.co/iRCQgZUU1J

Though Fritz needed all the help he could get, he also displayed an impressive act of sportsmanship to concede a point on a Djokovic serve that had incorrectly been called out:

Tennis TV @TennisTV

Sportsmanship 💯 Bravo, @Taylor_Fritz97 👏 #MMOpen https://t.co/BC6vJj5em3

Overall, the 21-year-old won just eight points on the Serb's serve.

A fine start for Konta saw her break Halep on the way to a 4-2 lead in the opening set.

The turning point came when the Brit failed to convert a break point to take that to 5-2, and after missing that crucial forehand she was quickly broken in the following game as Halep levelled proceedings at 4-4.

After saving two set points, Konta had the chance to hit back with three break points, but once again her failure to convert proved costly in the next game, per Metro's George Bellshaw:

George Bellshaw @BellshawGeorge

Set Halep. Konta broken from 40-0 up. Bit of a stinker to end it but been competitive against a very good clay court player. 7-5.

From there, Konta's resistance crumbled, and she won just two points in the first four games of the second set, in which she only narrowly avoided a bagel.

Halep will face Viktoria Kuzmova in the next round following her straight-sets victory over Carla Suarez Navarro.

Federer took to the clay for the first time in three years against Gasquet, but he looked as though he had never been away with a convincing victory:

Tennis TV @TennisTV

Roger Federer is back on clay for the first time since 12 May 2016 🗓 Stream Federer vs Gasquet LIVE ➡️https://t.co/o4Qr1BHCPy https://t.co/7D0iwFyOUl

The fourth seed need just 52 minutes to see off the Frenchman, with some wicked drop shots thrilling the crowd:

ATP Tour @ATP_Tour

"This is just a joke!" 📹: @TennisTV | @rogerfederer | #MMOpen https://t.co/QKZSuRkFLN

Federer spoke after his win about how he felt to be back on the clay after such a lengthy lay-off:

George Bellshaw @BellshawGeorge

Federer: 'I've missed the clay court season for some time now, it was a great return. It was a sort of special night for me.'

George Bellshaw @BellshawGeorge

Federer: 'No I must say I was actually very calm all day waiting for the match. I only felt the nerves when I was talking about the tactics. All of a sudden I was a bit nervous two hours before the match. But it all went away once the match started.'

Gasquet was playing his first tournament of 2019 after injury, making for a comfortable return for Federer to clay court action, but he will know that tougher tests await as the week progresses.

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