Sport

Nadal sets up Djokovic showdown

Nadal sets up Djokovic showdown

Novak Djokovic progressed into the quarter-finals with a more convincing display that on Wednesday, when he defeated Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 7-5 in straight sets.

Nadal though did not have it all his own way and took almost three hours to put away enigmatic Italian Fabio Fognini 7-6 (7-3) 3-6 6-4 and he was left fuming by his sub-par performance.

In doubles, Rohan Bopanna and his Uruguayan partner Pablo Cuevas were knocked out by Canada's Fabrice Martin and Daniel Nestor 6-3, 6-2 in a one-sided first round contest.

In the women's Madrid Open, third seed Simona Halep remains on course to retain her title as she thrashed American Coco Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-1.

"But in the second and third (sets) I was feeling pretty good on the court, moving well, so I was very happy". "I know it is going to be a day that either I play really well or I'm not going to have many chances".

The world No.29 mixed his game up more in the second set and took it from a shell-shocked Nadal to force a decider.

The Spaniard won 7-6 (7-3) 3-6 6-4 in a match that lasted just under three hours to set up a tie with Australia's Nick Kyrgios.

Nadal, a four-time champion in Madrid, had an easier time in the second set after earning an early break, and closed out the match with another at the end.




The level of play from both players rose in a remarkable game with Goffin serving at 2-4 down as he kept Nadal at bay despite facing four break points, including one incredible cross-court backhand as he ran back to the baseline after being lobbed.

However, the two haven't met since last year's Rome Masters, since when Djokovic has been displaced by Andy Murray as world number one and parted company with coaches Marian Vajda and Boris Becker due to his poor form.

Nadal, on the other hand, is enjoying a resurgent 2017, finishing runner-up at the Australian Open, Acapulco and Miami, and then winning historic 10th titles at the Barcelona Open and Monte Carlo Masters.

"I'm going to think about who I want in my team and I don't yet have anyone".

It was the 11th straight win for Nadal, and his tour-leading 30th victory for the year.

Nishikori, who beat Djokovic in the 2014 U.S. Open semifinals, was playing in his first tournament since March.

He was broken three consecutive times in the first set, and once in the second to give Coric a 5-3 lead that he converted to close out the match.

"Tomorrow there's going to be one victor, that's Uniqlo I'm sure", Djokovic joked, referring to the Japanese casual wear label that sponsors the duo.


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