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Madrid Open: Rafa Nadal battles through to reach third round

12 Mai 2017

Rafael Nadal is set to take on Australian Nick Kyrgios in the round of 16 of the Madrid Open later today and the Spaniard will be looking to progress to the next round as he looks to win his third title of the season.

It is fair to say, then, that the crowds were packed in to see whether Nadal could keep up his campaign, but in the event, it was another match that had not only the fans but nearly an entire media centre gripped to the very last point.

'Even though I played really badly, my attitude has been very positive.

'My attitude and the will to win today's match was there.

The second set, meanwhile, ended up being one-way traffic for Nadal, and it took until the fifth game of the second set for Kyrgios to get on the board and avoid a first set without winning a game on the men's tour.

He then took a quick lead in the second set, pulling off a break in the fourth game with a Nadal-esque running forehand pass, but Thiem is a resourceful and powerful player, and he showed all that determination and strength to break straight back, and break again to level the match, 6-4.

The 30-year-old made the finals at the Australian Open, the Miami Masters and the Telcel Open in Acapulco prior to his win, but had to settle for the runners-up spot in each of those events after losing the former two to the in-form Roger Federer, and the latter to Sam Querrey.

World No.59 Coric, who won his first ATP title last month in Morocco, took the second break point to serve out for the match, sending last year's finalist and two-time Madrid victor Murray packing.

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Nadal prior to the Fognini match had looked to be in imperious touch after winning back-to-back titles in Monaco and Barcelona. Raonic will face Belgium's David Goffin next.

Rafael Nadal's debut at the Madrid Open has been pushed back a day because of an ear infection.

However, since last summer, and joining forces with a new coach in Dani Vallverdu, everything had changed: Something seemed to click, the confidence returned, along with the wins.

Canadian fifth seed Milos Raonic defeated Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 6-4, 6-4, while Japanese sixth seed Kei Nishikori rallied to a 1-6, 6-0, 6-4 victory over Diego Schwartzman. He withdrew from Barcelona last month because of a right wrist injury. Wasn't playing well. I won a couple rounds and lost to Rafa. "But in the second and third (sets) I was feeling pretty good on the court, moving well, so I was very happy".

The 26-year-old reached another final in Rotterdam losing to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Kuznetsova will face the victor of an intriguing clash between top seed Angelique Kerber and Eugenie Bouchard, who dumped out Maria Sharapova in thrilling fashion on Monday.

Bouchard was leading 6-3, 5-0 when her German opponent pulled out.

Number three seed, Simona Halep is into the quarter-finals after her 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 victory over 16 seed Samantha Stosur and she will be joined there by Rumanian wild-card, Sorana Cirstea and Kiki Bertens.