Nadal advances, Barty makes Madrid final

(AP Photo/Paul White)

MADRID (AP) Rafael Nadal got through another young opponent and showed signs he was getting closer to his best form on clay as he defeated Alexei Popyrin 6-3, 6-3 to make it to the Madrid Open quarterfinals on Thursday.

Nadal overcame eight aces and saved five break points against the Australian. The five-time Madrid champion cruised past Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz in the second round on Wednesday.

"There is a lot of young, good players. (It's) something normal that is happening," said Nadal, who at 34 is 13 years older than Popyrin. "And, yeah, I'm excited that at my age I am able to keep playing against all of them. They are good. They are talented. They have a great future. For me it's amazing to be where I am with my age competing with them still."

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2021 ATP Rankings
Rank Player Points
1 N. Djokovic 11,963
2 R. Nadal 9,810
3 D. Medvedev 9,700
4 D. Thiem 8,365
5 S. Tsitsipas 7,910
6 A. Zverev 6,125
7 A. Rublev 6,000
8 R. Federer 5,875
9 D. Schwartzman 3,765
10 M. Berrettini 3,493
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2021 WTA Rankings
Rank Player Points
1 A. Barty 9,655
2 N. Osaka 7,800
3 S. Halep 7,050
4 S. Kenin 5,915
5 E. Svitolina 5,835
6 B. Andreescu 5,265
7 A. Sabalenka 5,205
8 S. Williams 4,850
9 K. Pliskova 4,660
10 K. Bertens 4,405
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