Published: Fri, May 12, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Djokovic reaches Madrid Open quarterfinals

Djokovic reaches Madrid Open quarterfinals

Andy Murray's struggles continued with a 6-3, 6-3 loss to lucky loser Borna Coric in the third round of the Madrid Open on Thursday, while defending champion Novak Djokovic and four-time champion Rafael Nadal made it to the quarterfinals.

Coric added the scalp to his recent bout of good form, having won his first ATP Tour title in Morocco last month.

The 20-year-old is one of the most unsafe young players on the tour, with the Croat holding a 2-1 head-to-head lead over Rafael Nadal, and beat Murray in one of their three meetings in the Dubai quarter-finals back in 2015.

Murray was in trouble during his first service game of the second set after two more unforced errors helped earn Coric another break point for a 2-0 lead.

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Neither player was able to take chances to seize an early advantage in the second and things quickly tightened up.

The world number 59 did not waste that opportunity, his brilliant backhand drop-shot drawing a wide return from Murray, who will hope for swift improvement at the Internazionali d'Italia.

Djokovic was dominant on serve throughout, facing only one break point in the opening game of the second set.

He had seemingly been growing in confidence, and rediscovering his rhythm little by little as he made his way from Monte Carlo to Barcelona, but now has just one week in Rome to find the form and belief which would make him a genuine contender for the French Open.

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Coric broke the fragile Murray serve three times in the first set under the roof at the Manolo Santana centre court due to rain in the Spanish capital.

"When you're not winning too many matches, you have to build the confidence level", Djokovic said. "I think Feliciano played really well, especially in the second set".

In another match, David Goffin of Belgium defeated Canadian Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-2 to reach the quarters.

The women's draw saw Romania's Simona Halep, the defending champion, move into the semi-finals. "I try to enjoy my big challenge tomorrow".

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She will now play Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia for a place in the final after she overcame Kiki Bertens of The Netherlands 6-3, 6-3. Mladenovic will play eighth-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russian Federation, who easily defeated Canadian Eugenie Bouchard 6-4, 6-0.

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