Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Djokovic forced to put up a fight against Almagro

Djokovic forced to put up a fight against Almagro

"I was a little bit nervous, to be honest, before the match, because she has a big serve", Halep said.

It looked in the early goings as though Dimitrov's aggressive and creative all-court game would get the better of his fellow single-hander.

The 12-time Grand Slam champion ended his long and successful relationship with Marian Vajda last week in an attempt to reverse his dramatic slump in form since winning Roland Garros previous year.

Croatian Borna Coric, conqueror of world number one Andy Murray in the third round, plays Dominic Thiem of Austria later on Friday with the victor meeting Pablo Cuevas in the other semi-final after the Uruguayan beat German Alexander Zverev 3-6 6-0 6-4.

Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic celebrates his victory over Spanish tennis player Nicolas Almagro during the ATP Madrid Open in Madrid, on May 10, 2017. "But I was able to play two matches and (my wrist) has gotten better".

Djokovic dominated the opening set - breaking his opponent three times to gain a one-set lead after 26 minutes - but dropped the second after Almagro erased two break points. He was beaten by qualifier Denis Istomin in the second round of the Australian Open.

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).

Djokovic could meet Nadal in the semi-finals.

23-year-old Thiem broke the Croatian in the seventh game of the second set and then routinely held his serve to close out the match.

Nadal and Djokovic met with each other, even scary to write 49 times.

Rafael Nadal has given controversial Australian Nick Kyrgios a lesson in clay at the Madrid Open.

Zverev against Cuevas held it together in the third set until dropping his final serve at 4-5, seeing Cuevas off to a fourth consecutive three-set win.

On Wednesday, Canadian Eugenie Bouchard advanced to the quarter-finals when top seed Angelique Kerber retired with a lower back injury while trailing 3-6, 0-5.

Tsonga, who reached the quarterfinals here in 2013, said he felt a pain last week while training and then again at the end of the match against Andrey Kuznetsov.

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.

"Novak is someone that I don't have good record (against)", Nishikori said. I will check it, I hope it's not too serious. "But I can feel it a little bit".

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