Madrid: Andy Murray was overwhelmed 3-6, 2-6 by Santiago Giraldo and champion Rafael Nadal showed signs of rustiness before reaching the Madrid Open quarter finals with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Jarkko Nieminen on Thursday.
Wimbledon champion Murray, returning to action after a month’s break, showed mental strength to beat Nicolas Almagro in the last round but he was never in the contest against Giraldo, who claimed his first top-10 scalp.
Briton Murray lost his opening service game and could not cope with the power and accuracy of his Colombian opponent who comfortably won the first set. And there was no change in momentum in the second.
Nadal started well and swept Nieminen aside in the first set with a series of powerful passing shots.
Nadal led 3-0 in the second set before Finn Nieminen broke back and had break points in Nadal’s next service game which he failed to take. Nadal struggled with his timing but scraped through.
In women’s singles, Serena Williams earned her 650th career victory with a 6-2, 6-3 third round win over Carla Suarez Navarro while Maria Sharapova defeated Samantha Stosur 6-4, 6-3 to progress to the fourth round.
In women’s doubles quarters, Sania Mirza and Cara Black gave a scare to top seeds Su-Wei Hsieh and Shuai Peng before losing the match 7-5, 1-6, 8-10. There was not much to separate the two pairs as the Portugal Open winners won 62 points to 67 of their top-seeded rivals.
Sania and Cara converted four break chances while Hsieh and Peng broke them five times in the match, which was decided via a thrilling super tie-breaker.