Rafael Nadal destroys Stan Wawrinka to reach semi-finals — Madrid Open

Rafael Nadal destroys Stan Wawrinka to reach semi-finals — Madrid Open

"I've been improving but obviously the body remains a bit debilitated for a while. I'm very, very pleased with this win". It has been more than a year since he won his debut ATP title at Delray Beach last year, and his most significant achievement since then has been that run to the quarter final in Melbourne. "In general, it's a day to be very satisfied, very happy". "The closer it comes to the Grand Slams, the better he'll play, and we are pretty close to the French Open".

The young Greek is through to his second Masters 1000 final (Nadal ousted him in Toronto last summer) after a grueling battle and two hours and 34 minutes, winning six points less than Rafa and saving 11 out of 16 break points to stay alive against the mighty opponent. The two exchanged two more breaks late in the set, and Djokovic eventually prevailed in the deciding tiebreaker.

Saturday's other semi-final will see world number one Novak Djokovic up against Dominic Thiem who saved two match points in beating Roger Federer 3-6, 7-6 (13/11), 6-4. Ferrer had 733 wins in 1,111 matches, fourth-best among active players.

Earlier, Juan Martin del Potro squandered a match point in a 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 loss to Laslo Djere in his second tournament since injuring his knee in October.

Thiem had a breakpoint at 4-4 but it was Djokovic who stormed clear in the tie-break, winning the point of the match with, perhaps, the shot of the tournament. The Argentine had last played in Delray Beach in February, losing in the quarterfinals.

The five-time victor, yet to drop a set in two matches this week, will face Stan Wawrinka next.

Disorientated, Thiem hit long to fall 4-1 behind and then again at 6-2 to hand Djokovic the set. "I had to stop for two weeks and mentally I dropped".

"I'm at a really good place right now", Osaka said.

21-year-old Tiafoe is now the second highest ranked American player behind John Isner, but the fact that is only 37 in the world shows how far American men's tennis has fallen behind.

Defending champion Petra Kvitova defeated Caroline Garcia, 6-3, 6-3, to set up a quarterfinal match against Kiki Bertens.

"It was a very important win for me against one of the best players in the world", said Djokovic, a two-time champion in Madrid. "I can not beat these guys every time, so it's fine".

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