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The Tennis Debate: Will Novak Djokovic ever dominate again?

20 May 2017, 01:29 | Joan Schultz

The Tennis Debate: Will Novak Djokovic ever dominate again?

Rafael Nadal from Spain celebrates winning a point against David Goffin from Belgium during a Madrid Open tennis tournament match in Madrid Spain Friday

Kei Nishikori set up a potential quarter-final clash with Novak Djokovic by sweeping aside David Ferrer 6-4, 6-3 in the Madrid Masters third round on Thursday.

Four-time champion Rafael Nadal has made it through to the semi-final stage of the Madrid Open courtesy of a straight-sets win over David Goffin.

Home favorite Rafael Nadal, who is number 4 seed in Madrid, had his second round game against Italian, Fabio Fognini postponed from Tuesday to Wednesday to allow him to overcome a troublesome ear infection, but he still needed just three minutes under three hours before finally defeating Fognini 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-4.

The level of play from both players rose in a remarkable game with Goffin serving at 2-4 down as he kept Nadal at bay despite facing four break points, including one incredible cross-court backhand as he ran back to the baseline after being lobbed.

Having not produced convincing wins so far in Madrid, Djokovic will be looking for the big scalp to get his season back on track ahead of his title defence at the French Open.

Coric broke the fragile Murray serve three times in the first set under the roof at the Manolo Santana centre court due to rain in the Spanish capital.

Fognini played aggressively, however, and forced Nadal on to the defensive as he took the match into a deciding set. 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. Even though Thiem broke back in the first set after Dimitrov the advantage in the opening service game, the Austrian made Dimitrov work hard for the first set, eventually succumbing on the fourth set point.

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In another quarterfinal, Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay rallied to beat Alexander Zverev of Germany 3-6 6-0 6-4.

Tsonga, who reached the quarterfinals here in 2013, said he felt a pain last week while training and then again at the end of the match against Andrey Kuznetsov.

He will face the victor of the late night match between number 8 seed Dominic Thiem and Borna Coric, who knocked number one seed, Andy Murray out earlier in the week.

On the women's side, third-seeded Simona Halep of Romania reached the semifinals by beating Coco Vandeweghe of the US 6-1, 6-1 in less than an hour. "But I was able to play two matches and (my wrist) has gotten better".

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

"In the beginning I wasn't playing 100 percent", Nishikori said.



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