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Nadal, Djokovic made to work before progressing in Madrid

Editor: zhangrui 丨Xinhua

05-11-2017 08:02 BJT

MADRID, May 10 (Xinhua) -- Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal were both made to work hard before booking their places in the third round of the Mutua Madrid Open on Wednesday.

In his first match since changing his coaching team in an attempt to change fortunes following a difficult start to the year, Djokovic was taken to three sets by Spain's Nicolas Almagro in a match which lasted for two and a quarter hours.

In blustery conditions the Serb began strongly and ran away with the first set, 6-1, before Almagro battled back to win the second set 6-4 to take the match to a seceding set.

That set hung in the balance until Djokovic was able to claim what proved to be the decisive break in the 11th game of the set and he was then able to serve out to progress into third round.

Home favorite Rafael Nadal, who is number 4 seed in Madrid, had his second round game against Italian, Fabio Fognini postponed from Tuesday to Wednesday to allow him to overcome a troublesome ear infection, but he still needed just three minutes under three hours before finally defeating Fognini 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-4.

Nadal was below his best and it was not until he took a decisive break in the final game, just after having his own set broken that the match was finally decided.

Number six seed Kei Nishikori came back after losing the first set to Diego Schwartzman to claim a 1-6, 6-0, 6-4 win, while number five seed Milos Raonic enjoyed a more straightforward 6-4, 6-4 victory against Giles Muller. Tomas Berdych, the 11 seed, also progressed into the third round following a 7-6 (5), 6-3 win against Robin Haase of the Netherlands.

Meanwhile Jo-Wilfred Tsonga was forced to withdraw from Madrid as the result of a shoulder injury allowing Spain's David Ferrer a bye into the last 16.

In the women's tournament, Chinese qualifier, Wang Qiang put up stiff resistance before eventually succumbing to number 8 seed, Svetlana Kuznetsova.

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.

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