Madrid Open: Rafael Nadal set for semi-final showdown with Novak Djokovic

November 19, 2019

first_imgRafael Nadal withstood a tough challenge from David Goffin 7-6 (3), 6-2 to reach the Madrid Open semifinals on Friday.In a meeting between the players with the most match wins this year, Nadal saved all five break points he faced against the 10th-ranked Belgian, and converted his chances in the second set to win his 13th straight match.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.Goffin, who has 27 victories, was trying to make it to his third final this season.He saved all six break opportunities he conceded to Nadal in the firstset, but the fifth-ranked Spaniard took control of the tiebreaker underthe closed roof on center court.Nadal, a four-time champion inMadrid, had an easier time in the second set after earning an earlybreak, and closed out the match with another at the end.”We hadto hit very close to the line to win the points,” said Nadal, who istrying to win his third consecutive title after victories in Monte Carlo and Barcelona.In another quarterfinal, Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay rallied to beatAlexander Zverev of Germany 3-6, 6-0, 6-4. Cuevas won one of the pointsof the tournament with a no-look winner with his back to the court after a lob shot by Zverev early in the second set.The sixth-seeded Nishikori withdrew saying his wrist was “not 100 percent” and he didn’t “want to risk” a more serious injury.advertisement”I don’t want to go too hard on my wrist,” the Japanese player said. “I want to fight again in every match.”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. The third-seeded Halep, who also lost the 2014 final to Maria Sharapova, will play to keep her title against eighth-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia or Kristina Mladenovic of France.last_img

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