Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal win in Madrid
Defending champion Novak Djokovic recovered from a 3-0 deficit in the third set to defeat Nicolas Almagro 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 and reach the third round at the Madrid Open on Wednesday.
Djokovic rallied in the final set by breaking Almagro to go up 6-5 and served out to earn his 15th win of the season in over two hours. The victory left Djokovic on track to play a semifinal against four-time Madrid champion and home-crowd favorite Rafael Nadal, who struggled in a 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-4 win over a Fabio Fognini of Italy in just under three hours.
“I haven’t played bad, I played really bad,” Nadal said. “It was uncomfortable.”
Nadal will play Nick Kyrgios of Australia, who defeated Ryan Harrison of the United States 6-3, 6-3. The second-seeded Djokovic will play veteran Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, who got past Gilles Simon of France 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (3).
Fifth-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada defeated Gilles Muller of Luxemburg 6-4, 6-4, while sixth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan recovered from a slow start to beat Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 1-6, 6-0, 6-4.
Nishikori, a finalist in Madrid in 2014, is playing in his first tournament since March. He withdrew from Barcelona last month because of a right wrist injury.
Nishikori will play in the third round against Spaniard David Ferrer, who advanced after 10th-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France withdrew before the match because of a shoulder injury.
Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic defeated Robin Haase of the Netherlands 7-6 (5), 6-3,
In the women’s draw, Eugenie Bouchard of Canada advanced to the quarterfinals after top-seeded Angelique Kerber retired with a left thigh injury in the second set.
Bouchard was leading 6-3, 5-0 when her German opponent pulled out.
Third-seeded Simona Halep of Romania defeated 16th-seeded Samantha Stosur of Australia 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.
Eighth-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia defeated Qiang Wang of China 6-4, 7-5, while 14th-seeded Kristina Mladenovic of France defeated countrywoman Oceane Dodin 6-2, 6-1.
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