Tennis

Nishikori to 
meet Djokovic in quarter-finals

Kei Nishikori set up a quarter-final clash with Novak Djokovic after sweeping aside David Ferrer 6-4, 6-3 in the third round of the Madrid Masters yesterday.

The Japanese sixth seed was far too good for the former French Open finalist, who has struggled for form in slipping to 30th in the world this season.

Indeed, Nishikori's progress was delayed only by a rain break early in the second set as he registered his third win in four years over Ferrer in Madrid to reach the last eight.

Second seed Djokovic dug in deep to see off Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 7-5 in a third-round clash yesterday.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal's quest for a third straight title after wins in Monte Carlo and Barcelona faces a stiff test against Nick Kyrgios this morning (Singapore time).

Nadal was taken to three sets before seeing off Fabio Fognini 7-6 (7/3), 3-6, 6-4 in his second-round match on Wednesday.

"It's true I've been through some difficult days with the issue of my ear (infection), which cost me a little bit of general stability," Nadal said.

"I feel a little bit strange. But it's something that is getting better day after day."

David Goffin awaits the winner of the Nadal-Kyrgios clash as the Belgian beat world No. 6 Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-2 yesterday.

BOUCHARD THROUGH

In the women's Madrid Open, Canadian Eugenie Bouchard advanced on Wednesday when top seed Angelique Kerber retired with a hamstring injury trailing 6-3, 5-0 in their third-round match.

Kerber will take over the top ranking on Monday as a result of earlier Madrid results. The match lasted less than an hour.

"I just felt it in the last game. Now I will just check it," said Kerber.

"I hope it's not too serious. But I can feel it a little bit."

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

Halep faces Latvian Anastasija Sevastova in today's semi-finals after the world No. 22 saw off Kiki Bertens 6-3, 6-3. - WIRE SERVICES