Nishikori, Halep march on in Madrid

Madrid: Kei Nishikori set up a potential quarterfinal clash with Novak Djokovic by sweeping aside David Ferrer 6-4, 6-3 in the Madrid Masters third round on Thursday.
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 only delayed 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.
World number one Andy Murray and Djokovic are in action later on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal’s quest for a third straight title after wins in Monte Carlo and Barcelona faces a stiff test against Nick Kyrgios in the night session.
David Goffin awaits the winner of Nadal’s clash with Kyrgios as the Belgian beat world number six Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-2.
In the women’s Madrid Open, third seed Simona Halep remains on course to defend her title as she thrashed American Coco Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-1.
Halep faces Latvian Anastasija Sevastova in Friday’s semifinals after the world number 22 saw off Kiki Bertens 6-3, 6-3. — AFP