There's something vaguely satisfying about seeing Radek Stepanek get beaten. Not because he's a horrible person or anything - I suppose Martina Hingis and Nicole Vaidisova must have seen something in him, because he's butt-ugly - but just because he's so kind of... creepy. You don't get the nickname 'The Worm' by being a handsome, upstanding member of the tennis community. He's just so... off-putting.
But The Worm is no more in Madrid, being effectively put down in two sets by the Swiss Master, Roger Federer. They weren't blow-out sets, but a straight sets victory is a straight sets victory, and compared to the tussle Nadal had with Gulbis yesterday, it's pretty nice looking. So well done, Roger. And along the way - just another milestone in that amazing career of his - he surpassed Sampras's mark for as the winner of the most prize money in tennis history. Not that Federer seems like a monetarily minded guy or anything - Maria Sharapova must rake in fifty times what he makes each year from endorsments alone - but it must be a pretty nice mark. I wouldn't mind getting money out at an ATM and looking at a balance like that on the receipt. He's won in excess of forty-three million dollars. Now that is a sweet paycheck!
He plays Jo-W Tsonga in the next round. That should be an interesting one to watch - I don't know if they've ever met. Federer remains the one member of the Big Three Tsonga hasn't taken down: and much as I like Tsonga, here's hoping it stays that way! Federer for the title!
Djokovic also advanced, but there were two breaker sets, one of which he lost, and his opponent retired in the third. And what's with David Ferrer? He seems to have gone right off the boil, which is a bit sad for him, as he is a bit fabulous. He lost to Feliciano Lopez. Get well soon, David - or whatever it is! I'd love to see him playing at the Masters Cup this year, especially as he got to the final last year. And Davydenko went out as well - to Robby Ginepri, of all people. There's a weird loss if I ever saw one.
Mutua Madrilena Masters Madrid (Madrid)
Roger Federer def. Radek Stepanek, 6-3 7-6 (8-6)
Novak Djokovic def. Victor Hanescu, 6-7 (8-10) 7-6 (8-6) 3-1 retired
Robby Ginepri def. Nikolay Davydenko, 4-6 6-4 6-4
Feliciano Lopez def. David Ferrer, 6-4 7-6 (7-4)
David Nalbandian def. Tomas Berdych, 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-1
Andy Roddick def. Tommy Robredo, 6-3 6-4
Juan Martin Del Potro def. Jarkko Nieminen, 6-2 4-2 retired
Stanislas Wawrinka def. Philipp Kohlschreiber, 3-6 7-5 7-6 (7-5)
Gael Monfils def. Fernando Gonzalez, 6-3 6-4
Ivo Karlovic def. Robin Soderling, 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (10-8)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga def. Marcel Granollers, 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-5)
Tennis.com Zurich Open (Zurich)
Venus Williams def. Alona Bondarenko, 6-3 6-4
Francesca Schiavone def. Maria Kirilenko, 6-3 7-5
Flavia Pennetta def. Nadia Petrova, 6-1 6-1
Katarina Srebotnik def. Timea Bacsinszky, 6-3 6-3
Sofia Arvidsson def. Sybille Bammer, 0-6 7-5 6-4