Ranked Murray loses to Coric in 3rd round of Madrid Open

Nadal begins his quest for a fifth title in Madrid later Wednesday against Italy's Fabio Fognini.

"On his slump, 99 per cent of players would love to be in his position", said Nadal.

"It's true I've been through some hard days with the issue of my ear (infection), which cost me a little bit of general stability".

Djokovic was punching the air after racing in to swoop for an incredible cross-court backhand victor, prompting applause from his stunned opponent, and the pressure told on Lopez when he netted a forehand to bow out when serving to stay in the tournament. "Tomorrow is a day I have to be ready and give my best".

The 12-time Grand Slam champion ended his long and successful relationship with Marian Vajda last week in an attempt to reverse his dramatic slump in form since winning Roland Garros a year ago. But, as I said, it was quite a solid performance from both players, high quality.

"I didn't help myself find a way into the match to start playing better". He schooled a clearly frustrated Tomas Berdych who just could not get it together when it counted, except when it came to killing his racquet at the end.

The early signs were positive for the 12-time Grand Slam champion as despite losing his service in the opening game, he broke straight back to start a six-game streak to romp through the first set.

The pair served up a sizzling second set, especially in the seventh game when Nadal finally broke the Belgian for a second time in the set at the fourth attempt after sensational rallies which had spectators in the Caja Magica rising to their feet in appreciation.

How Dimitrov would then rue yet more missed chances, only he would know, but he took a 6-3 lead, three match points, only to face some of Thiem's best serving, 6-6.

Djokovic and Nishikori will face one another early Friday morning at the 2017 Mutua Madrid Open.

“To win 6-3, 6-1 against an opponent as good as Nick, isnt normal.”. He could meet Nadal in the semi-finals.

Djokovic was not broken in the 93-minute clash, and faced just one break point.

Nadal and Djokovic are preparing for their 50th encounter against each other with the Serb holding a slim advantage over his long-time rival.

Nishikori is fresh off of a 6-4, 6-3 win over David Ferrer.

In the women's draw, Eugenie Bouchard of Canada advanced to the quarterfinals after top-seeded Angelique Kerber retired with a left thigh injury in the second set. The match lasted less than an hour.

"I was a little bit nervous, to be honest, before the match, because she has a big serve", Halep said.

"I hope it's not too serious".

  • Julie Sanders