BEVERLEY'S Kyle Edmund followed up his win over Novak Djokovic by beating David Goffin in straight sets to move into the quarter-finals of the Madrid Open.
Nadal's defence of his title began in comfortable fashion as he coasted to a 6-3 6-1 win over France's Gael Monfils yesterday. The 12-time Grand Slam champion has an uninspiring 6-6 win-loss record in the ongoing season.
That has been the case ever since Djokovic returned from an elbow injury earlier this season. Small things happen that normally when you're in a good momentum, those things don't happen. "But I have to keep working on them and pray that - and hope that my game will get stronger, get better as definitely as the matches go the distance", conceded Djokovic.
Djokovic lost in the third round in Monte Carlo a few weeks ago, following second-round exits at both Miami and Indian Wells. But, in the end, he played a little bit better and was more focused maybe. "But, also, he was courageous enough to attack the balls when it mattered and deserved to win".
"I played some really tough points and I hung in there, especially in that final game".
"I served really well today".
"I just knew that if I put myself in the match hopefully in the closing stages I would give myself a chance". Edmund added: "That game in the third set was very key".
22, is set to play the third round match against eighth-seed David Goffin of Belgium, who defeated Dutchman Robin Haase 7-5, 6-2.
At present it seems impossible that Nadal will lose a game on clay, his latest destruction of Monfils - a 6-3 6-1 triumph - a prime example of his intensity and sensational groundstrokes.
"I think Novak, step-by-step, is going to be able to recover and be at the level he deserves".
Spain's top seed Rafael Nadal also plays later on Thursday, when he meets Argentina's Diego Schwartzman. The 36-year-old Lopez will be the tournament director in Madrid beginning next year.
The Serb was outclassed by unseeded Kyle Edmund of Great Britain in three sets (3-6, 6-2, 3-6) at the Caja Magica Wednesday, May 10. "He is a top player, so it is very pleasing".
Novak Djokovic beats Kei Nishikori in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4.
Women (second round): Kristyna Pliskova bt Sara Sorribes Tormo 7-5, 6-2; Carla Suarez Navarro bt Elina Svitolina 2-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4; Garbine Muguruza bt Donna Vekic 2-6, 6-4, 6-1; Bernarda Pera bt Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-3. You know, to beat a big name, you know what he's done in the game, the pressures that come with that.
Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki edged past Ashleigh Barty 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.