MUTUA MADRID OPEN

Nadal into Madrid last eight

Rafa Nadal is heading for a semi-final match-up with Andy Murray after seeing off Sam Querrey 6-4, 6-2 in the Madrid Masters.

0
Nadal into Madrid last eight
Julian Finney Getty Images

The resurgent Rafa Nadal remained on course for a last-four clash with defending champion Andy Murray as he eased past Sam Querrey to reach the quarter-finals of the Madrid Masters on Thursday.

Nadal stretched his perfect start to the European clay-court season to 12 matches as he fought back from going down an early break to beat Querrey 6-4, 6-2.

The 14-time Grand Slam champion is in fine form after victories in Monte Carlo and Barcelona and is seeking to break Guillermo Vilas' record with a 50th clay-court title in Sunday's final.

Nadal started slowly as Querrey stormed into a 3-0 lead and had a break point to lead 5-2.

However, Nadal turned the match around by winning six straight games to seal the first set and break early in the second.

Querrey broke back to level at 2-2, but Nadal pulled away in the final stages to remain on course for a fifth title in Madrid.

"I had the confidence that if I managed to make the rallies longer, more than three balls, I knew that things could turn around," said Nadal.

"Luckily that's what happened. I saved that important point when we were at 4-2. Then from 4-2 I managed to break him and from there on things went more or less perfectly."

Nadal next meets Portugal's Joao Sousa, who overcame Jack Sock 6-1, 6-7 (3/7), 6-2.