Nadal, Sharapova advance to semi-finals of Madrid Open

Johannesburg, May 10: World No.1 Rafael Nadal and Russian ace Maria Sharapova have booked their places in the last four of the Madrid Open, with reigning champion Serena Williams, Swiss ace Roger Federer and world No.2 Novak Djokovic pulling out of the tournament.

The Spanish star, who did not have a good season on his favoured clay this year-losing in the quarter-finals in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, has beaten Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych 6-4 6-2 to set up a semi-final against unseeded compatriot Roberto Bautista.

According to Sport24, the defending champion in the Spanish capital, Nadal has now defeated Berdych 18 times in 21 meetings on all surfaces and 17 times in a row and with the withdrawals of Federer and Djokovic and Andy Murray knocked out, Nadal remains firmly on course for a fourth Madrid Masters crown.

Bautista, ranked 45, had never reached the last eight of a Masters event before this week and continued his dream run with an efficient performance against Murray’s conqueror, 46th-ranked Colombian qualifier Santiago Giraldo.

Meanwhile, the report mentioned that Sharapova beat second-seeded Li Na 2-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 to book her place in the last four of the Madrid Open as top seed and reigning champion Williams, who was due to face Petra Kvitova in the quarter-finals, pulled out of the tournament on Friday due to a thigh injury. (ANI)