Madrid Gets Chelsea, City to Meet Bayern in Champions League

UEFA Champions League final ambassador Turkish former footballer Hamit Altintop shows the paper slip of Real Madrid CF (ESP) during the draw for the quarter-final, semi-final and final of the 2022-2023 UEFA Champions League football tournament, in Nyon, on March 17, 2023. (AFP)
UEFA Champions League final ambassador Turkish former footballer Hamit Altintop shows the paper slip of Real Madrid CF (ESP) during the draw for the quarter-final, semi-final and final of the 2022-2023 UEFA Champions League football tournament, in Nyon, on March 17, 2023. (AFP)
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Madrid Gets Chelsea, City to Meet Bayern in Champions League

UEFA Champions League final ambassador Turkish former footballer Hamit Altintop shows the paper slip of Real Madrid CF (ESP) during the draw for the quarter-final, semi-final and final of the 2022-2023 UEFA Champions League football tournament, in Nyon, on March 17, 2023. (AFP)
UEFA Champions League final ambassador Turkish former footballer Hamit Altintop shows the paper slip of Real Madrid CF (ESP) during the draw for the quarter-final, semi-final and final of the 2022-2023 UEFA Champions League football tournament, in Nyon, on March 17, 2023. (AFP)

Real Madrid’s path to another Champions League title will have to go through Chelsea in the quarterfinals for the second straight year.

Friday's draw takes Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti back to face his former club, which was eliminated by a goal from Karim Benzema in extra time a year ago.

This time, the first leg between the past two Champions League winners will be in Madrid instead of London — on April 11 or 12.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola also has a reunion with a former club. The English champions were drawn to face Bayern Munich, which has won all eight of its game in the competition this season and will play the first leg away from home.

The winner between City and Bayern will go on to play Madrid or Chelsea in the semifinals.

The other half of the draw is dominated by Italian clubs with the possibility of a Milan derby in the semifinals.

AC Milan will first face Napoli, the runaway Serie A leader which is making its debut in the quarterfinals of the Champions League or the old European Cup. The first leg is at San Siro.

Inter Milan will play at Benfica in the first leg, returning to the country where it eliminated Porto in the round of 16.

Inter is playing at this stage of the competition for the first time in 12 years, while Milan is ending an 11-year wait.

Six former champions who have combined for 34 titles in the 68-year history of the competition were in the draw. Only Napoli and Man City have yet to be European champions.

The first legs will be played on April 11 and 12. The return games are scheduled for April 18 and 19.

The semifinal matches will be played between May 9-17 and the final is set for June 10 at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul.



Nadal Reaches First Final Since 2022 French Open

20 July 2024, Sweden, Bastad: Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal celebrates after defeating Croatia's Duje Ajdukovic in the men's singles semi-finals of the Swedish Open. Photo: Steffen Trumpf/dpa
20 July 2024, Sweden, Bastad: Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal celebrates after defeating Croatia's Duje Ajdukovic in the men's singles semi-finals of the Swedish Open. Photo: Steffen Trumpf/dpa
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Nadal Reaches First Final Since 2022 French Open

20 July 2024, Sweden, Bastad: Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal celebrates after defeating Croatia's Duje Ajdukovic in the men's singles semi-finals of the Swedish Open. Photo: Steffen Trumpf/dpa
20 July 2024, Sweden, Bastad: Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal celebrates after defeating Croatia's Duje Ajdukovic in the men's singles semi-finals of the Swedish Open. Photo: Steffen Trumpf/dpa

Rafael Nadal reached his first final since the 2022 French Open by rallying to beat Duje Ajdukovic 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 Saturday at the clay-court Nordea Open.
After needing four hours to beat the 36th-ranked Mariano Navone in Friday's quarterfinals, Nadal had a slow start against Ajdukovic and was a break down in the second set before turning things around, The Associated Press reported.
“My opponent had one of the best backhands that I played against,” Nadal said. “It was very, very difficult, honestly, but I found a way to survive and be through to that final after a long time without being in a final. So that’s great news and I’m very happy with that.”
Nadal will play Nuno Borges, who beat Thiago Agustin Tirante 6-3, 6-4 to reach his first tour-level final.
Nadal is playing at the tournament in Sweden for the first time since he won the title as a 19-year-old in 2005 as he prepares for the Olympic tournament on clay at Roland Garros in Paris.
The 38-year-old Nadal skipped Wimbledon as he didn’t want to switch surface to grass and then back to clay and risk injury. He has been dealing with hip and abdominal injuries over the past 1 1/2 years.