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Tennis

Madrid Open: Nadal, Djokovic Renew Rivalry

Four-time champion Rafael Nadal will take on two-time winner Novak Djokovic in the Madrid Open semi-finals after the Spaniard saw off David Goffin.

Nadal, seeded fourth, beat the Belgian ninth seed 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 after Djokovic earlier had a walkover when Kei Nishikori withdrew with a wrist injury.

Nine-time French Open champion Nadal has lost his past seven matches against Djokovic stretching back to 2014, and trails the head-to-head 26-23 in their 49 meetings.

However, the Spaniard will go into Saturday’s semi-final as the form player after taking his record on clay this year to 13-0 with an impressive win over Goffin.

Nadal, 30, broke the Belgian’s resolve in the first-set tie-break and could have won more comfortably had he converted more than just two of 13 break points.

Djokovic is into his first semi-final since he won his opening tournament of the year in Doha, while Nishikori is struggling to be fit for next week’s Rome Masters and the French Open in 10 days’ time.

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