Nadal, Djokovic made to work before progressing in Madrid

Nadal, Djokovic made to work before progressing in Madrid

In total head-to-heads, the Serb leads the Spaniard 26-23 and this week announced the dissolution of his former team of coaches to reignite his career that flailed a year ago.

However, the two haven't met for almost a year during which time Djokovic's form has dramatically dipped.

Nadal was below his best and it was not until he took a decisive break in the final game, just after having his own set broken that the match was finally decided. "I thought I played really solid".

Nadal eased past Goffin in their only previous meeting on his way to winning the Monte Carlo Masters 6-3, 6-1 last month before also lifting a 10th Barcelona Open.

Djokovic was not broken in the 93-minute clash, and faced just one break point.

Kyrgios and Nadal have only met twice with the Australian making his breakthrough with a four-set win over the 14-time Grand Slam champion at Wimbledon in 2014.

He saved all six break opportunities he conceded to Nadal in the first set, but the fifth-ranked Spaniard took control of the tiebreaker under the closed roof on center court.

Dimitrov worked two more match-points, both thwarted, and Thiem played some big-time winners to earn two match points of his own, earning the last with a backhand volley victor, and he drew one last error from Dimitrov for victory, 7-6 (9).

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And after a blistering start, Djokovic had to battle back from 3-0 down in the deciding set to book his place in the last 16 on Thursday against Feliciano Lopez, who beat Gilles Simon 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/3).

"I wasn't expecting myself to play well this week at all", said Kyrgios, who had to pull out of last week's Estoril Open to attend his grandfather's funeral.

"But in the second and third (sets) I was feeling pretty good on the court, moving well, so I was very happy".

"The crowd is supporting me all the time. I feel that the altitude is helping me also".

After relinquishing the World No. 1 ranking to Andy Murray in November, Djokovic suffered a shocking second-round defeat at the Australian Open to Denis Istomin followed by consecutive losses to Nick Kyrgios in Acapulco and Indian Wells.

Sevastova hinted at a fightback early in the second as she got out to a 3-0 lead. I wasn't winning too many points on his service games until the last one where I managed to return many balls back in play and then win the match.

Kristina Mladenovic of France advanced to the final four by overcoming seven double faults to beat Sorana Cirstea of Romania 6-4, 6-4.

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