“That just seemed like a perfect like sh*tstorm”: Lindsay Davenport criticises Darwin Blanch’s team for accepting Madrid Open wildcard entry

Friday, 03 May 2024 at 11:02
Former world number one Lindsay Davenport has expressed surprise after seeing Darwin Blanch facing legendary Rafael Nadal at the Madrid Open.
The 16-year-old is already being termed as one for the future and recently took part in the ATP 1000 event in the Spanish capital. But his journey was short-lived as he was knocked out in the round of 128 after losing to the former world number one in straight sets with a score of 6-1, 6-0.
Davenport was recently quoted in a report where she expressed surprise after seeing the youngsters accepting wildcard entry for the competition.
"I was surprised that in Miami he rolled up and took a main draw wild card ‘cause, like you, I was like, isn’t there like a little bit of progression there from saying 15Ks to maybe playing qualies, like take a quali wild card,” she said.
“But he played pretty well in Miami; lost I think it was 4 and 2. It seemed like against Rafa was just a perfect storm of being on a court like that—that big, throw in a little bit of altitude, throw in like the greatest player of all time, or obviously one of them, one of the three—and he just couldn’t play the way we’re used to seeing. So kind of threw him out into the fire. I think, on a side court against someone else, it would have been a lot better.
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Lindsay Davenport remains unsure whether it was a good idea for the 16-year-old to play in an ATP 1000 event.  
"You obviously can’t control the draws, but it’ll be interesting to see what they do now. Like, where does he go from here? Obviously, getting a Challenger win, just a main tour-level match win, a Challenger win is the next goal, but there is a long view and insight for Darwin [Blanch], and I think that he’s got good people around him, and they’ll kind of figure it out, but that just seemed like a perfect like sh*tstorm against Rafa.”

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