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

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

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

Novak Djokovic is starting to look ominously belligerent as the French Open approaches, scoring a brilliant victory to beat Dominic Thiem and reach the Madrid Open final.

He will play Rafael Nadal or Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.

In the women's final, last year's runner-up Kiki Bertens beat two-time Madrid champion Simona Halep 6-4, 6-4 for her second title of the year, adding to her victory in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Rival Roger Federer and defending champion Alexander Zverev had each been required to dig in to reach the quarter-finals earlier in the day, yet there were no such worries for Nadal.

Nadal served at 73% but that brought him nothing, facing 14 break points after barely losing a point behind the initial shot against Wawrinka last night, unable to overpower the young opponent who did everything right in sets he won.

Novak Djokovic hits a backhand in Madrid.

Djokovic was handed a walkover to the last four because quarter-final opponent Marin Cilic had food poisoning and that might have explained his rusty, error-laden start as Thiem claimed an early advantage.

Earlier in the day two times victor Simona Halep thrashed Viktoria Kuzmova 6-0, 6-0 in just 44 minutes to qualify for the quarter-finals, while number seven seed Kiki Bertens was equally impressive in her last-sixteen tie, beating number 12 seed, Anastasija Sevastova 6-1, 6-2 to continue here progress in Madrid without dropping a set.

"With the tennis that I've played today, I feel like I'm ready", Djokovic said.

"I thought he was the favourite coming into this match because of his win in Barcelona and the way he played winning against Roger yesterday", said Djokovic.

Djokovic recovered his nerve in the tie-break, however, earning two match points and converting the first, when a exhausted Thiem framed a final backhand long.

Thiem converted one of his many break opportunities to go 4-2 ahead in the second set, but again Djokovic quickly recovered, breaking back in the following game.

He earned repeated match points in the next game when Nadal was serving and after the Spaniard had dug deep to save three of them he could only find the net on the fourth. "These are exactly the matches that I need". I'm very happy with the victory.

The 18-year-old Auger-Aliassime is having his breakthrough season on tour, having moved to 30th in the rankings after reaching the final in Rio and the semifinals in Miami.

Romania's third seed and former world No. 1 will next play the victor of the Naomi Osaka- Belinda Bencic match.

Related news

[an error occurred while processing the directive]