Djokovic and Nadal to Face Off in Madrid Open Semifinal
(May 12, 2017) Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will meet for the 50th time in their career on Saturday in the semifinal of the Madrid Open Masters on Saturday. No. 2 Djokovic advanced when his opponent Kei Nishikori withdrew from the tournament with a left wrist injury. The 14-time major winner Nadal defeated David Goffin 7-6(3), 6-2 to reach the final four.
The win for Nadal is his 13th in a row and 32nd on the year, the tour lead in victories. The win for Nadal gives him a lead in the Race to London moving past Roger Federer.
“It’s going to be a very tough match against one of the best players in tennis history,” said Nadal about his upcoming match against Djokovic. “I know that to be able to have chances, I have to give 100%. Well, I think that I’ve been playing at a high level during many weeks. I know tomorrow is going to be a day that either I play really well or I’m not going to have many chances.
“I think I’ve done my homework. Tomorrow is a day to try to give my best. Hopefully I’ll be ready for that.”
Djokovic leads the head-to-head series at 26-23, and has won the last seven straight times since Nadal won the French Open in 2014.
“Tomorrow I’ll try to give my best,” added Nadal. “There are matches that if you play your good tennis, you have chances. If he plays at a good level, he’s going to win.”
In women’s play, defending champion Simona Halep beat Anastasija Sevastova 6-2, 6-3 to reach her third Madrid Open final. Halep will play play Kristina Mladenovic in the final. Mladenovic beat her doubles partner Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia 6-4, 7-6 (4) to reach her fourth final of the year.
“She’s such a smart player, all around the court, I feel,” said Mladenovic of her final opponent. “She is developing her game in that way, that style, because she’s not that tall, not that powerful. She’s playing really well tactically.
“She’s moving really well. Her game suits perfectly on clay, I would say. She’s one of the best players, playing extremely well here in Madrid, being the defending champion, always had good results in the past.
“I’m expecting a tough match. Even though I’m leading in our head-to-head, we never played on clay, I think. That’s going to be a brand-new challenge for me, especially that she’s more used to being in a finals of such a big events than me, especially here in Madrid.
“I really have to bring up my best game if I want to (win) to the title.”
“I just want to go there and (play) my game, because if I do, I have a big chance to win,” Halep said.
ATP RESULTS – FRIDAY, 12 MAY 2017
Singles – Quarterfinals
 N. Djokovic (SRB) d  K. Nishikori (JPN) walkover (Right wrist pain)
 R. Nadal (ESP) d  D. Goffin (BEL) 76(3) 62
 D. Thiem (AUT) d [LL] B. Coric (CRO) 61 64
P. Cuevas (URU) d A. Zverev (GER) 36 60 64
Doubles – Quarterfinals
 F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) d  H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) 64 64
N. Kyrgios (AUS) / J. Sock (USA) d  B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) 67(5) 76(5) 10-7
 N. Mahut (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d  J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) 64 36 10-7
 L. Kubot (POL) / M. Melo (BRA) d  I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Granollers (ESP) 61 64
SCHEDULE – SATURDAY, 13 MAY 2017
MANOLO SANTANA start 1:30 pm
WTA – Doubles Final –  T. Babos (HUN) / A. Hlavackova (CZE) vs  Y. Chan (TPE) / M. Hingis (SUI)
Not Before 4:00 pm
ATP –  R. Nadal (ESP) vs  N. Djokovic (SRB)
Not Before 7:00 pm
WTA – Singles Final –  K. Mladenovic (FRA) vs  S. Halep (ROU)
Not Before 9:30 pm
ATP –  D. Thiem (AUT) vs P. Cuevas (URU)
ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO start 2:00 pm
ATP –  F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) vs  N. Mahut (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA)
ATP –  L. Kubot (POL) / M. Melo (BRA) vs N. Kyrgios (AUS) / J. Sock (USA)