Nadal into last eight, but Halep fails to reach semis in Madrid

Sherman Parsons
May 11, 2018

Pliskova's 6-4, 6-3 win sets up a showdown with either two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova or the talented Russian Daria Kasatkina for a place in the final on Saturday.

The 16-time grand slam champion will face Dominic Thiem, the last man to beat him on clay at the Internazionali d'Italia in 2017, in the last eight as he attempts to win the tournament for a sixth time and claim a third consecutive title following his triumphs in Monte Carlo and Barcelona. 1 has won 14 matches and 30 sets in a row overall, as well as 21 matches and 50 straight sets on clay.

Djokovic has struggled this year after saying he returned to action too quickly following a lingering right elbow injury.

"I really don't think much about that", said Nadal of the record afterwards.

"Even in the warm-up I felt so good today", Pliskova said.

The women's defending champions and top seed, Simona Halep brushed past qualifier Krystina Pliskova 6-1, 6-4 in just 75 minutes, but the second seed Caroline Wozniacki surprisingly lost 6-2, 6-2 to Kiki Bertens, who is now ranked 21st in the world.

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In the quarter-finals, Lajovic will meet South Africa's Kevin Anderson who overcame German Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3 7-6 (7).

It means Pliskova, the sixth seed, is the highest-ranked player left in the women's draw after Caroline Wozniacki, Garbine Muguruza, Elina Svitolina and Jelena Ostapenko all lost earlier in the week. I didn't play badly in my opinion. I just think about my opponent, what I have to do to keep on going.

Halep, who has won the tournament for the last two years, had looked imperious on her way to the last eight, dropping only nine games in three matches including Wednesday's win against Pliskova's twin sister Kristyna.

Edmund will face 19-year-old Denis Shapovalov, after he bettered Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-4 in an all-Canadian clash. "She deserved to win".

Djokovic, who kicked off his campaign with straight sets win over Japan's Kei Nishikori, failed to bounce back from a set down and slumped to a 3-6, 6-2, 3-6 defeat against Edmund.

"It was great to get those wins against those players", said Sharapova, the 2014 champion in Madrid. "You also want to evaluate that and go back to the drawing board and start over again".

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