Nadal top Goffin to reach semis — Madrid Open

Rufina Vignone
Mag 19, 2017

Djokovic overcame Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 6-1 4-6 7-5 while Nadal endured a three-hour epic with Italy's Fabio Fognini before progressing 7-6 (7-3) 3-6 6-4.

"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".

Fognini played aggressively, however, and forced Nadal on to the defensive as he took the match into a deciding set. If he plays at a good level, he's going to win.

The 27-year-old Japanese, who received a bye in the first round at Madrid, came from behind to beat Diego Schwartzman of Argentina in the second round Wednesday and defeated Ferrer in straight sets Thursday to advance to the quarterfinals for the fifth straight year.

On the women's side, defending champion Simone Halep of Romania cruised past Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia 6-2 6-3 to reach her third Madrid Open final.

"I knew I was playing well in the first set but I just couldn't take my chances".

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.

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. 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.

The other semi-final is between Dominic Thiem and Pablo Cuevas, and the final is on Sunday.

Djokovic hasn't played in the semifinals of any event since winning the title in Doha at the beginning of the year. Nadal has failed to beat his semi-final opponent in their last seven meetings with his last win coming in the finals of the French Open in 2014.

Nishikori is now also a major doubt for the Rome Masters next week with 10 days to go until the start of the French Open. He withdrew from the Barcelona Open last month because of the lingering wrist inflammation.

"I can not promise to play or pull out right now", he said.

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