Djokovic advances to 3rd round in Madrid Open

Novak Djokovic

Nadal was also taken to three sets before seeing off Fabio Fognini.

And after a blistering start, Djokovic had to battle back from 3-0 down in the deciding set to book his place in the last 16 on Thursday against Feliciano Lopez, who beat Gilles Simon 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/3).

Today, in the second round of the Madrid Open, he squared up against world No. 76 Nicolas Almagro-a player he had defeated in all four previous matches, losing only one set in a tiebreak-and teetered on the brink of loss, but came out with the victory, 6-1, 4-6, 7-5. Doubles: First round: Fabrice Martin & Daniel Nestor bt Rohan Bopanna & Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 6-2.

Third seed Simona Halep remains on course to retain her title as she thrashed American Coco Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-1 yesterday.

Fourth seed Nadal won 6-3 6-1 in 72 minutes in a match which showed promise early but quickly became a procession.

Asked about Novak Djokovic's decision to change his coaches in an attempt to end a poor run of form, he said: "I have never done that, although I have started working with Carlos Moya, who is well known to me and we are all happy working together".

After being broken in game four when Nadal's return clipped the net and bounced in, he hit straight back with a forehand victor.

Kuznetsova will face the victor of an intriguing clash between top seed Angelique Kerber and Eugenie Bouchard, who dumped out Maria Sharapova in thrilling fashion on Monday. "In the end I played as I had dreamed", said Coric.

World number two Novak Djokovic reached the Madrid Open third round by winning his first match since parting company with his coaching staff on Friday.

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.

"If it's muscle pain then I can play, but the wrist is a risky part and it could lead to big issues if I push myself, so I chose not to play", he said.

However, the tables have turned this season as Nadal has looked unstoppable on his favourite surface, winning his 10th title at Monte Carlo Masters last month and followed it up with another crown in Barcelona. I just kind of let the same things keep happening, making mistakes very early in a lot of the rallies.

The Madrid Open started their rivalry, with the Spanish crowd witnessing an engrossing semi-final in 2009 lasting over four hours which Nadal won after saving three match points.

Nishikori withdrew from the Barcelona Open in April due to the injury sustained in late March during the Miami Open.

Halep will play Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia, who defeated Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 6-3, 6-3.

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