Madrid Open: Stefanos Tsitsipas battles past Dominic Thiem as Daniil Medvedev cruises

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World No 3 Daniil Medvedev and World No 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas both made their debuts in the Madrid Open on Saturday, and safely booked their spots in the third round. Medvedev wasted little time in notching up his 32nd win of the year, dispatching Italian qualifier Andrea Vavassori 6-4, 6-3 courtesy of a late break of serve in each set. The Russian faced three break points during the match but saved them all. "I played well today. I felt [good]," said Medvedev. "There were some tight moments in the match, but when we had rallies from the baseline, I felt like many times I was in control. I'm really happy about my level." "I just want to play my best. Sure, everyone is saying here I should like it a little bit more than other clay courts because the serve goes a bit faster, the court is faster. So far I haven't done well in Madrid, but today was a great match and I just hope for more matches like this in the next two weeks." Tsitsipas faced a much tougher opponent in Dominic Thiem, and needed to stage a dramatic comeback before emerging a 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(5) winner. After fighting back from a set down to level the scores, the Greek star again battled back from 1-3 down in the final-set tie-break to clinch the narrow victory.

"It was very physical and I think we both played our best," Tsitsipas said. "I'm in a way happy that we were able to show that kind of tennis... Today sort of showed what kind of intensity two guys that play single-hand backhands can bring to tennis. I'm happy I got away with a win. Things weren't easy at the very end but I just kept fighting." Elsewhere, Cameron Norrie finally delivered some British success in Madrid as he beat Yosuke Watanuki in straight sets. With Andy Murray and Dan Evans crashing out in the first round and Emma Raducanu withdrawing on the eve of her match due to a hand injury, it had been a rotten week for the Brits. But Norrie went some way to putting that right with his 6-4 7-6 (5) victory. The British number one, who is looking to kickstart his European clay court season after early exits in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, made an inauspicious start against the Japanese and trailed 4-1. But he found his rhythm and reeled off five successive games to take the first set. The second was tighter, though it was the Brit who was the enforcer, seeing two break points saved as it went to a tiebreak. And Norrie was able to get the job done, winning on his second match point.

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