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Nadal vs Wawrinka ATP Madrid live streaming, preview and tips - Nadal holds dominant 17-3 record over Wawrinka ahead of quarter-final showdown

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 10 May 2019
  • Rafael Nadal vs Stan Wawrinka is live from Madrid around 9.30pm local time on Friday (8.30pm BST)
  • Nadal has won 17 of their previous 20 encounters and the last four without dropping a set
Rafael Nadal (PA Images)

Five-time Madrid champion Rafael Nadal continues his quest for a first title of the season on Friday night when he comes up against former runner-up Stan Wawrinka in the quarter-finals.

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World No. 2 Rafael Nadal brings a dominant 17-3 head-to-head record over former No. 3 Stan Wawrinka into their Madrid Masters quarter-final on Friday night in the Caja Magica.

Coming into Madrid without a clay-court title for the first time since 2015 - incidentally, the same season Wawrinka him in the Rome quarter-finals - Nadal is searching for form first and foremost in the Spanish capital this week, and with each passing match, you can sense the belief returning for the King of Clay. Nadal is still far off his best, but he’s advanced into the Madrid quarter-finals without dropping a set, conquering rising stars Felix Auger-Aliassime and Frances Tiafoe. The Spaniard survived some tricky moments against Tiafoe in the R16, including a break point at 1-2 in the second set and trailing 0-30 while trying to serve the match out in the second set, but Nadal was able to find some of his best tennis when he needed it most, completing a 6-3 6-4 victory and moving into his 12th quarter-final in Madrid.

“I’m very happy. It’s an important result against a tough opponent. As I said yesterday, he already won against Basilashvili and Kohlschreiber, so he came to this match with good confidence and winning against two great players on clay. It was a tough match. I think I did a lot of things well tonight, so I’m happy with the performance and excited to be through,” Nadal said.

Nadal also came into the Madrid Masters suffering from a stomach virus that restricted his time on the practice court, so no doubt the 11-time French Open champion is happy to be in the last eight. We’ve been so used to seeing Nadal completely dominate anyone in his path during the European clay season for over a decade, but that hasn’t been the case in 2019, with Fabio Fognini and Dominic Thiem getting the better of him in Monte-Carlo and Barcelona respectively, denying him the chance to win 12 titles at each of those events.

However, when you consider Nadal was forced to withdraw from the Indian Wells Masters semi-finals with a knee injury and hadn’t played before Monte-Carlo, it makes sense for him to be easing his way back into competition - even if we’ve grown accustomed to his superhuman exploits. After facing a couple of youngsters, Nadal now confronts a fellow French Open champion for a place in the semi-finals.

Stan Wawrinka (PA Images)
Stan Wawrinka has been searching far and wide for that one big win and breakout tournament since undergoing double knee surgery midway through 2017, and perhaps this week in Madrid is his time to shine again? Wawrinka has also advanced into the Madrid quarter-finals without relinquishing a set, taking out Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-3 6-3, the in-form Guido Pella 6-3 6-4 and sixth seed Kei Nishikori 6-3 7-6(3). In a battle of former Madrid runner-ups, it was Wawrinka’s aggressive and heavy baseline game that prevailed over the speed and compactness of Nishikori, with the Swiss returning to his first quarter-final at the Caja Magica since he made the final - and lost to Nadal - in 2013.


“Rafa, it's a challenge to play him on the clay court. I have played him many times. It's always difficult to play him,” Wawrinka said. “I'm happy with the way I'm playing so far. I'm happy to be in the quarter-finals again, gaining confidence little by little. I know I'm playing well. I know I'm physically good, so we will see.”

As mentioned, Wawrinka’s initial return to the tour from knee surgery was a stuttering affair, but the Swiss managed to generate a bit of momentum with big first round major wins over Grigor Dimitrov at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, while he also made the quarter-finals in Cincinnati, the semi-finals in St. Petersburg and finished runner-up to Gael Monfils at the ATP 500 event in Rotterdam earlier this season. Wawrinka has been building patiently and waiting for a big run at a significant event - can he stun the best clay player of all time to make the semi-final?

History suggests no. Nadal has won 17 of their 20 encounters, but Wawrinka did earn a win on clay in Rome in 2015, but that was when Nadal was struggling with injury and far from his best - maybe not too dissimilar to the Spaniard’s current state. It’s surely only a matter of time before Wawrinka returns to the semi-finals of a Masters 1000 or Grand Slam, but it’s hard to back against Nadal on clay, even if the Madrid conditions do favour Wawrinka and his hard-hitting game…


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Nadal vs Wawrinka ATP Madrid live streaming, preview and tips - Nadal holds dominant 17-3 record over Wawrinka ahead of quarter-final showdown

Five-time Madrid champion Rafael Nadal continues his quest for a first title of the season on Friday night when he comes up against former runner-up Stan Wawrinka in the quarter-finals.

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