Djokovic, Nadal through easily but Murray crashes out in Madrid

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Djokovic joins David Goffin in the quarter-finals after the Belgian beat Milos Raonic 6-4 6-2, along with Kei Nishikori, who saw off David Ferrer of Spain 6-4 6-3.

Nadal progressed to the last four after withstanding a tough challenge from David Goffin 7-6 (3), 6-2 at the Madrid Open on Friday.

While Djokick leads the head-to-head rivalry by a 26-23 margin, Naadal holds a 9-4 edge against the Serbian in Grand Slam events and a 4-3 record in Grand Slam finals.

However, the two haven’t met for almost a year during which time Djokovic’s form has dramatically dipped.

Fognini played aggressively, however, and forced Nadal on to the defensive as he took the match into a deciding set.

Unseeded Sevastova was playing her first semifinal at premier mandatory level, the grade immediately below grand slam tournaments. Nadal hasn’t beaten Djokovic since the 2014 French Open final but leads 14-7 on clay.

It had taken more than two and a half hours, and had reasserted Thiem as a worthy member of the top-10.

Four-times victor Nadal twice bounced back to win the first set in a thrilling tiebreak.

In the sixth game, Djokovic drilled a deep return rattling an error to earn the first break point 20 minutes into the match.

In a meeting between the players with the most match wins this year, Nadal saved all five break points he faced against the 10th-ranked Goffin, and converted his chances in the second set to win his 13th straight match and tour-leading 32nd of the year.

Halep claimed a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 win over Australian Samantha Stosur.

He will face the victor of the late night match between number 8 seed Dominic Thiem and Borna Coric, who knocked number one seed, Andy Murray out earlier in the week.

“I’m going to think about who I want in my team”, the Serb said on Wednesday.

“I didn’t feel too good before the tournament on the court”.

“The crowd is supporting me all the time“. I just kind of let the same things keep happening, making mistakes very early in a lot of the rallies.

World number two Novak Djokovic says he could have a new coach in place as soon as the French Open in less than a fortnight.

It is fair to say, then, that the crowds were packed in to see whether Nadal could keep up his campaign, but in the event, it was another match that had not only the fans but nearly an entire media centre gripped to the very last point.

Halep will face in-form Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic or Svetlana Kuznetsova in Saturday’s final.

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