The four semi-finalists at the Mutua Madrid Open, who will be fighting for a place in the championship match on Saturday, are now known. The closed roof of the Caja Mágica was unable to prevent the downpour, this time though it was raining tennis.
Among them will be Rafael Nadal, who came out on top of a spectacular match against David Goffin, 7-6(3), 6-2. “I am very happy to be in the semi-finals here at home, it means playing in front of you again”, were Nadal’s touching words for the spectators after his match on the clay of the Manolo Santana Stadium, who gave their hero a standing ovation. The Mallorcan was very happy and satisfied with his hard-fought victory over “one of the best in the world”.
The Belgian took to the court determined to defeat the four-time Mutua Madrid Open champion and he came close to upsetting his opponent in the first set where, he produced some stunning shots and forced Nadal to dig deep to fend him off. The Mallorcan would eventually seal the set in a tiebreak after neither player lost their serve. In the second, the battle continued with both players playing some brilliant tennis. However, it was Nadal who held strong at critical moments, breaking the Belgian’s serve twice to seal his passage to the semi-finals after two hours of play.
Novak Djokovic awaits him in their battle for a place in the final in what has become a classic match in recent years. Their clash on Saturday will mark the 50th time the two greats have crossed paths. So far the upper hand belongs to the Serb (26-23), who reached the semi-finals without playing after Kei Nishikori decided to withdraw. The Japanese player made the difficult decision after suffering an injury to his right wrist.
In the other half of the draw, Pablo Cuevas came back to beat Alexander Zverev to progress to the last four after one and a half hours of play. The Uruguayan levelled the match by winning the second set to love having earlier produced what could be the shot of the tournament, running away from the net he produced an impossible blind shot that the German had no chance of stopping. He will now face a Thiem who saw off Coric 6-1, 6-4 in one and a half hours of play.
In the doubles, López/ López sealed their passage to the semi-finals after beating the number one pair in the world, the Finnish Henri Kontinen and Australian player John Peers. Feliciano and Marc will play Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin in search of a place in the final.