I was too tired to wait for that 2 a.m. match last night. I'm glad I didn't because the pay TV Astro did not show Rafael Nadal vs Ernest Gulbis match!
Rafael Nadal is just two wins shy of clinching the year-end No. 1 ranking, defeating Ernests Gulbis 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 last night to reach the third round of the Madrid Masters.
Next up for Nadal, the 2005 Madrid champion, will be 15th-ranked Richard Gasquet.
Gasquet overcame 23 aces by Mardy Fish to win 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-3.
Back in Wimbledon, Nadal was taken to four sets by Gulbis, and last night's match was similarly tricky for the Spaniard.
Nadal has never been a fan of the Spanish capital’s high altitude and the extra speed it brings to the hard court.
He had a difficult time keeping up with the Latvian before ended the match in 2 hours and 22 minutes.
In other second-round matches, U.S. Open finalist Andy Murray advanced while 11th-seeded James Blake and 13th-seeded Fernando Verdasco lost.
Murray moved on when Simone Bolelli of Italy retired with an apparent shoulder injury while trailing 6-0, 2-1.
Murray will next play Croatia’s Marin Cilic, who beat Verdasco 6-2, 6-3.
“I’ve been playing really, really well in practice the last few weeks, better than I was playing throughout the summer,” said Murray, who won his first Masters Series title in Cincinnati in August.(Images via Yahoo! Sport)
“I’m probably mentally fresher now than the U.S. Open.”