MUTUA MADRID OPEN (09.05.2021)

The Mutua Madrid Open has been held every year in May since 2002. It got its name from the tournament’s sponsor — the Spanish insurance giant Mutua Madrilena.   

Originally it was a men-only tournament, but it changed in 2009 when it began including women-players’ games as well. Currently, this event is classified as the ATP Masters Series tournament, which makes it a very prestigious tennis competition, second only to the Grand Slam Championships.   

Last year the MMOpen was canceled due to obvious reasons, and that is why until the beginning of this season’s tournament the 2019 winners Novak Djokovic and Kiki Bertens were still considered title holders. However, it was clear from the start that this year’s champion would be someone else: Kiki Bertens lost in the 1/16th to Veronika Kudermetova, and Novak Djokovic didn’t participate at all.

After 6 rounds in male and female divisions the champions have been crowned and they are Alexander Zverev from Germany and Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus. Let me tell you about their way to the top. 

It’s not the first time for Zverev to win the MMOpen: last time he won in 2018 against Dominic Thiem. This year he seemed quite comfortable on his journey to the final: he managed to beat Nishikori, Evans, Nadal and Thiem seemingly effortlessly with a 2-0 score. And only the debutant Berrettini managed to take one set but still lost 7-6, 4-6, 3-6

Photo credit: Mutua Madrid Opem Website

The similar story goes for the Women’s champion Aryna Sabalenka. Even though it’s her first time winning the MMOpen, she got into the final very comfortably, just like Alexander Zverev. She beat Zvonareva, Kasatkina,Pegula, Pavluchenkova, and Mertens 2-0. The latter even retired at the end of the second set. In the final Aryna Sabalenka faced Ashleigh Barty and won 6-0, 3-6, 6-4. 

Photo credit:

It’s important to mention that Zverev also participated in doubles partnered with Tim Puetz. They managed to get to the semi-finals, but received a walkover. Luckily for me, I had an opportunity to see Sacha and Tim in person when I attended MMOpen myself almost two weeks ago. They were playing against Rohan Bopanna and Denis Shapovalov and won 2-1 (6-4,3-6,10-5 tiebreak). The match took place at Stadium 2 and even though it was really hot and I was in the sun, I managed to enjoy their game.

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