Rafael Nadal can move one step closer to a sixth Madrid title with victory on Friday afternoon with Belgian David Goffin next up for the Spaniard. With Andy Murray’s shock exit, the top half of the draw looks decidedly weak so whoever advances from Nadal’s half of the draw looks good to take home the title.
Nadal saw his 20 set winning streak end on Wednesday against Fabio Fognini but was in fine form yesterday, taking out Nick Kyrgios 6-3 6-1 although it has to be said the Australian, who has been in fine form this year, was off his game yesterday. “I think I served very well and committed very few errors. I think I made a step forward compared to yesterday. To be able to win 6-3, 6-1 is great news,” said Nadal.
Goffin has been going about his business quietly on the road to the quarter finals with straight sets wins over Karen Khachanov, Florin Mayer and Milos Raonic. The win over the Canadian was the most impressive of the bunch with him dropping just 6 games overall.
Nadal has played Goffin just once and it was very much a one sided affair in his favour but he is taking nothing for granted against the Belgian. “Tomorrow I’m expecting a tough match. He’s very fit. I know that I have to play at my highest level, perhaps similar to today or even better,” he said. “I think my backhand was good today and my forehand was there. I think I have some margin to do it even better tomorrow and step forward.”
Likely waiting in the next round is Novak Djokovic, who plays Kei Nishikori in the opening match of the day on Manolo Santana Court. Nadal has lost his last 7 matches but will fancy his chances should they meet tomorrow given both players form levels at this point in time.
Prediction: Rafael Nadal in straight sets