Rafael Nadal sets up semi-final clash with Novak Djokovic in Madrid
May 17 2017 by Dustin Murphy
Djokovic, who has refused to rule out appointing Andre Agassi as coach, prowled around the court and had the bit between his teeth as he stayed in the hunt for only a second title of the year with the French Open on the horizon.
Djokovic holds one of the weakest of his seasons in the last 10 years.
Former No. 1s Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal set up a mouthwatering semifinal on Friday in Madrid when Nadal stared down David Goffin 7-6 (3), 6-2, and Djokovic received a walkover from a wrist-hobbled Kei Nishikori.
The world number two had coasted through his service games, winning 86% of his points behind his first serve after nine games.
David Goffin awaits the victor of Nadal's clash with Australian Kyrgios as the Belgian beat world number six Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-2.
"Right now I don't have anyone yet, but I think by the French Open or after the French Open I [am] already going to have someone".
Controversial Australian Kyrgios cruised past American Ryan Harrison 6-3, 6-3.
Second seed Djokovic dug in deep to see off Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 7-5 in a third-round clash yesterday.
Nadal claimed the first break in the second game of the second set and maintained his recent momentum to earn what was ultimately a comfortable win. "We have taken plenty of titles from each other The reality is that it's been a really good era because the matches between Djokovic, (Roger) Federer and me. we've made it many times to the final rounds, competing in the most important tournaments".
I didnt help myself find a way into the match to start playing better, said Murray. "Eventually the game will come together". But, as I said, it was quite a solid performance from both players, high quality.
Djokovic had his playing time diminished this year because of an elbow injury.
In the sixth game, Djokovic drilled a deep return rattling an error to earn the first break point 20 minutes into the match.
Nadal was below his best and it was not until he took a decisive break in the final game, just after having his own set broken that the match was finally decided. Fognini served for the set at 5-4 but was not able to capitalize on his chance. The fifth-ranked Spaniard has won 22 of his last 24 sets. "My attitude and the will to win today's match was there".
The toughest assignment in men's tennis - Rafael Nadal on clay - looms next for Nick Kyrgios after a breezy win by the Australian at the Madrid Open on Wednesday.
Nadal did not perhaps look quite as convincing in his opening round, but seems to be rising to form, but this will be a better test. Nadal got the better of Goffin in his great run in Monte Carlo - but can he give Nadal a good run out in front of a home crowd?
Nadal has made a storming start to the claycourt season, winning the Monte Carlo Masters and the Barcelona Open for a record-extending 10th time last month. Cuevas won one of the points of the tournament with a no-look victor with his back to the court after a lob shot by Zverev early in the second set.
Nishikori will meet No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic in Friday's quarterfinals.