Nadal sets up Djokovic showdown

World No. 59 Coric, who won his first ATP title last month in the Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakech, took the second break point to serve out for the match, sending last year's finalist and two-time Madrid champion Murray packing.

Nadal's tour-leading 32nd victory set up a semifinal against defending champion Novak Djokovic, who advanced when Kei Nishikori withdrew before their match because of a wrist injury.

Number three seed, Simona Halep is into the quarter-finals after her 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 victory over 16 seed Samantha Stosur and she will be joined there by Rumanian wild-card, Sorana Cirstea and Kiki Bertens.

Eighth-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russian Federation defeated Qiang Wang of China 6-4, 7-5, while 14th-seeded Kristina Mladenovic of France defeated countrywoman Oceane Dodin 6-2, 6-1. Then past year, he suffered a six-match losing streak through Madrid, Rome and the French Open and found himself at No40 in the rankings, his lowest since February 2013.

Ever since the draw came out, Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios were set to play an entertaining third round match in Madrid, but the battle stayed only on a paper!

The other quarterfinal will be played between Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay, who defeated Benoit Paire of France 7-5, 0-6, 6-1, and Alexander Zverev of Germany, who beat Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4. 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.

"Unfortunately, I'm still not 100 per cent so I'd prefer not to take a risk", said the Japanese.

"I'm going to think about who I want in my team", the Serb said Wednesday.
"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".

“After one match of the quallies where I lost and I was booking my flight back to home, ” said Coric.

Djokovic hasn't made it this deep into any event since winning the title in Doha at the beginning of the year. His run to the Monte Carlo semi-final looked to set the scene for his clay court season, although he was bounced out of Barcelona a little early.

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.

The exciting Australian was riding a fine wave of form, having twice beaten Novak Djokovic this year and coming within points of denying Roger Federer in the semis of Miami, where he finally lost the third of three tiebreaks.

“I couldnt imagine this when I woke up this morning, I always believed but I wasnt sure how I was going to play.

Halep with face in-form Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic or Svetlana Kuznetsova in Saturday's final.

It was a good start for both players in the first 3 games, just like everybody was hoping for, and Nick looked determined to fight until the final point (he blasted a 172 km/h forehand victor in game 3).

Djokovic was, though, dominant on serve throughout, facing only one break point in the opening game of the second set.

  • Stacy Allen