Djokovic advances to 3rd round in Madrid Open

Rufina Vignone
Mag 12, 2017

"But then the first match of any tournament is not easy".

But Djokovic was in no mood to reveal his plans after battling back from a second set set-back to overcome the Spaniard. Djokovic won the match 6-1, 4-6, 7-5.

Drawing a final backhand error, Djokovic closed in two hours 15 minutes.

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.

"I'm still finding my way to that consistency level and quality of tennis that I'm looking for", said Djokovic.

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.

That point won him what, at the time, seemed a match-sealing break of serve in the third set.

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.

"I would like to have ideally someone who fits into the profile of a person that was kind of in my shoes before, that has been winning Grand Slams", said Djokovic. When Nishikori wrapped up today's win he unwrapped the adhesive tape wrapping his wrist and spoke about his return.

"I'm aware that I'm not playing at my best, but I'm definitely believing in myself and the process". He would not string enough points together to win another game in the set, 6-1, in under half an hour. I think there's still a lot of things that need to be worked out before it potentially happens.

This quarterfinal encounter is the third match scheduled on the order of play on the Manolo Santana court at not before 4 pm local time, and the victor of this match will have to negotiate a tricky semifinal encounter with sixth seed Kei Nishikori or defending champion Novak Djokovic in the semifinals.

In his first match since announcing he dropped his entire coaching team, Djokovic was accompanied by a streamlined support staff-brother Marko and coaching consultant and spiritual guru Pepe Imaz sat in his box-and withstood a tight test turning a match of new beginnings into a familiar ending. A churning body serve set up an inside-out forehand to save the second break point. Fognini served for the set at 5-4 but was not able to capitalize on his chance.

Nadal, though, edged their only previous meeting on clay at last year's Rome Masters. The fifth-ranked Spaniard has won 22 of his last 24 sets. "My attitude and the will to win today's match was there".

Fifth seed Milos Raonic is into the last 16 as he got the better of a battle between two big servers, 6-4, 6-4 over Gilles Muller.

A finalist in Madrid in 2014, Nishikori is playing in his first tournament since March.

"I have a great rivalry with David", said Nishikori, who leads their career head-to-head 8-4. "But in the second and third (sets) I was feeling pretty good on the court, moving well, so I was very happy".

David Ferrer made it into round three without having to hit a ball as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga withdrew with a shoulder injury.

The Canadian was 6-3, 5-0 up when Kerber, the world number two, ended the contest after picking up an injury.

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