The top seeds of Madrid Open advanced through the stages of the tournament, as Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray all secured victory against their respective opponents.
World number one Djokovic returns after a surprise exit out of the Monte Carlo Masters, and progressed by beating Croatian Borna Coric 6-2, 6-4 in just an hour and 18 minutes. He then went ahead to defeat tournament 15th seed Roberto Bautista Agut in round three, winning by a larger margin at 6-2, 6-1.
The Serb, who was defeated early by Jiri Vesely last month, won 85% of points on his first serve against the 19-year-old Coric, who is nicknamed ‘Mini Djokovic’ after his playing style that resembles the Australian Open Champion’s.
His victory against Roberto Bautista Agut places him in the quarter finals, where he will be playing against Milos Raonic.
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal stayed on course for a historical 50 career titles on clay with straight sets win over Sam Querrey, 6-4, 6-2.
However, the Spaniard had to recover from a poor start as Querrey led by 3-0 in the opening set. Approaching 5-2, Nadal called on his winning spirit to fight back, and it was smooth sailing for the world number five from then on.
The fifth seed also remains unbeaten on clay in Europe this year, and will be meeting Joao Sousa, with Andy Murray potentially waiting in the semi-final.
Murray himself got through to the round of eight as he won against France’s Giles Simon with a similar score sheet to Nadal’s.
Murray, the second seed of the tournament, broke Simon for the first time to take the opening set as part of a five-game winning run. The Scotsman went ahead to break his opponent a further three times in the second set to complete victory in one hour, 38 minutes.