2024 Madrid Open Thursday SCHEDULE and PREVIEW including return of Rafael NADAL, Iga SWIATEK and Coco GAUFF

Tennis News
Thursday, 25 April 2024 at 08:04
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The schedule has been confirmed for Thursday at the 2024 Madrid Open with some huge names in action in a bumper day throughout all courts at the Caja Magica. As ever our preview runs you through all the top ties and top storylines to follow as the joint ATP/WTA 1000 continues.

Nadal to lead the way against 16-year-old upstart

Another week, another last stand from the great Rafael Nadal who will be the centre of attention on Thursday. A six-time champion in Madrid, he will face the lowest ranked player in the tournament looking to cause a huge upset. Darwin Blanch was born in 2007 when Rafael Nadal had won his first Roland Garros of 14 two years prior. He was also 16 when he made his Madrid debut four years before Blanch was even born in stats to make even those born in the millennium feel old.
Blanch though comes from pedigree and has been long lauded alongside the likes of Joao Fonseca as the next generation of tennis superstar. He has trained frequently with a certain Carlos Alcaraz with Blanch training at the Juan Carlos Ferrero Academy. He is also managed by IMG who secured him this wildcard. This though led to fans saying that the draw was rigged for him to play the lowest ranked player. But he is lowest ranked only due to him playing mostly junior tennis instead of due to poor performances on the tour.
The kid with nothing to lose: Darwin Blanch aims to upset the king of clay.
Nadal though could be up for a potential upset with the Spaniard admitting that he is not 100% and that he wouldn't play Roland Garros today if he was in his current condition. Seemingly pushing himself through due to it being his final Madrid Open, he could face Alex de Minaur next up who proved to be the end point in Barcelona and is a formidable opponent on clay not caring about reputation as he showed last week. Blanch will either get overawed or produce the performance of his life. There will be no inbetween.

Iga Swiatek, Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff lead other ties

This has slightly foreshadowed two of the biggest names in the WTA draw starting their campaigns. Iga Swiatek who has never won Madrid and has a bit of a hoodoo in these conditions reached the final to get her closest last year. But it is perhaps the only clay court nemesis she has faced. She takes on Xiyu Wang to open up her tournament after Nadal, her known idol.
Coco Gauff is interspersed between the two ties as the American who lost out to Marta Kostyuk last week faces Arantxa Rus. Before that is Naomi Osaka who got her first clay court win in two years earlier on Wednesday and now faces Liudmila Samsonova for a spot in the third round.
Other ties include Maria Sakkari facing one of her close friends in Donna Vekic. Leylah Fernandez v Anastasia Potapova, Ons Jabeur, Elina Svitolina, Jelena Ostapenko are also among the well known names involved. But the main courts are where to be really on Thursday.

Schedule Thursday 25 April 2024 Madrid Open

Estadio Manolo Santana
Start 11:00am
Yoshihito Nishioka v Felix Auger-Aliassime (ATP)
N.B 12:30pm - Naomi Osaka v Liudmila Samsonova (15) (WTA)
Followed by - Coco Gauff (3) v Arantxa Rus (WTA)
N.B 17:00 - Darwin Blanch v Rafael Nadal (PR) (ATP)
N.B 19:00 - Iga Swiatek (1) v Xiyu Wang (WTA)
Estadio Arantxa Sanchez
Start 11:00am
Donna Vekic v Maria Sakkari (5) (WTA)
Followed by: Richard Gasquet v Lorenzo Sonego (ATP)
Daniel Elahi Galan v Roberto Bautista Agut (ATP)
Not before 17:00 - Anna Karolina Schmiedlova v Ons Jabeur (8) (WTA)
Dominik Koepfer v Roberto Carballes Baena (ATP)
Estadio 3
Sara Sorribes Tormo v Elina Svitolina (16) (WTA)
Jelena Ostapenko (9) v Jessica Bouzas Maneiro (WTA)
Zhizhen Zhang v Miomir Kecmanovic (ATP)
Albert Ramos-Vinolas v Pavel Kotov (ATP)
Alex Michelsen v Joao Fonseca (ATP)
Estadio 4
Tomas Machac v Emil Ruusuvuori (ATP)
Dusan Lajovic v Thiago Monteiro (ATP)
Beatriz Haddad Maia v Sara Errani (WTA)
Maria Lourdes Carle v Veronika Kudermetova (WTA)
Leylah Fernandez v Anastasia Potapova (WTA)
Estadio 5
Victoria Azarenka v Tatjana Maria (WTA)
Emiliana Arango v Dayana Yastremska (WTA)
Alexandra Eala v Sorana Cirstea (WTA)
Elise Mertens v Sloane Stephens (WTA)
Estadio 6
Alejandro Tabilo v Flavio Cobolli (ATP)
Christopher O'Connell v Matteo Arnaldi (ATP)
Yannick Hanfmann v Jakub Mensik (ATP)
Aleksandar Kovacevic v Hamad Medjedovic (ATP)
Estadio 7
Madison Keys v Irina-Camelia Begu (WTA)
Nadia Podoroska v Emma Navarro (WTA)
Estadio 8
Pedro Cachin v Sebastian Ofner (ATP)
Max Purcell v Marcos Giron (ATP)

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