London:Rafael Nadal set up an intriguing Madrid Open semi-final against Novak Djokovic by overcoming Belgian David Goffin 7-6 (3), 6-2 in a high-quality last-eight match.
Rafael Nadal was dominant today against Novak Djokovic and progressed to the finals of the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Madrid.
The nine-time Roland Garros victor is looking to continue his dominance on clay ahead of the second Grand Slam of the year, and he controlled much of his 50th meeting with the world number two.
Djokovic was playing his first tournament since splitting from his long-term coaching team and won just four points in the opening four games as he fell 4-0 down to a rejuvenated Nadal.
Of greater interest with the French Open (where Djokovic is the defending champion) right around the corner: This was Nadal's first win over Djokovic since the Roland Garros final of 2014.
"Rafa was obviously a better player today", Djokovic said.
He conceded only two break opportunities to Djokovic, who converted one early in the second set.
After kicking her racket and receiving a violation from the umpire, Halep calmed down and went on to lift the title once again by winning the third set 6-2. "I'll try to be 100 per cent and ready for tomorrow's match". It's just the titles that you have won.
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Thiem suffered defeat to Nadal in the Barcelona Open showdown last month, but will have a shot at revenge following Saturday's 6-4 6-4 triumph.
First, though, Nadal will be entirely focused on Madrid, but he will certainly be the favourite against either No8 Dominic Thiem or the unseeded Pablo Cuevas-though each has claimed a clay win over Nadal in the past.
"It's true that some matches are more important than others".
The 29-year-old progressed to the semi-finals of the Madrid Open this week but saw his progress halted at the hands of an old foe.
The best chance came in a couple of great rallies but where the Djokovic of old would be able to contort himself into all manner of positions to get the ball back, he just could not get himself over the line, and as the third match-point came, was left looking heavenwards - what more did he need to do to catch a break. 'He deserved to win. It wasn't a very high quality of tennis from my side. He controlled the game from beginning to the end. "I made a lot of unforced errors", added Djokovic. "It means a lot because it gives me confidence for the bigger tournaments". His quality was very high. "Today was warmer than last three, four days, so conditions were quite different, [and] he managed to be better in these kinds of conditions".
"It was a positive week, a positive experience", he said.
"I wasn't expecting to beat him at all tonight, to be honest", said Kyrgios.
Nadal came out with the bit between his teeth, breaking to love in the first game of the match under blue skies and pumping his fist after breaking a startled Djokovic for a second time with a fierce forehand victor.