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Nadal will have to break Djoko curse to reach final in Madrid

 

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Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

AP

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal booked a semi-final clash with Novak Djokovic at the Madrid Open after a comfortable last-eight win over David Goffin yesterday.

Nadal took just under two hours to see off the Belgian 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 and move closer to a third straight title after wins in Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

But if he is to progress, Nadal must get the better of Djokovic, who eased into the semis after scheduled opponent Kei Nishikori withdrew with a wrist injury.

Djokovic has won the last seven meetings between the pair, including three on clay, with Nadal's last victory coming in the 2014 French Open final.

Goffin put up a spirited fight against the Spaniard until the tie-break, which was dominated by Nadal, who converted his second set point.

Nadal claimed the first break in the second game of the second set and maintained his recent momentum to earn what was ultimately a comfortable win.

Argentina's Pablo Cuevas also booked his place in the last four with a 3-6 6-0 6-4 win over Alexander Zverev of Germany.

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