Madrid Open | Zverev has the measure of Nadal

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Rafael Nadal lost 6-4, 6-4 to Germany’s Alexander Zverev in the Madrid Open quarterfinals on Friday, casting doubts over the Spaniard’s form ahead of this month’s French Open.

Zverev’s impressive straights-set win at the Caja Magica earns him a meeting with Dominic Thiem, in what will be a repeat of last year’s US Open final, which was won by Thiem.

Thiem had earlier come from a set down to beat John Isner 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 and reach the last four.

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It started well for Nadal when he broke Zverev to love to lead 4-2 in the first set, Zverev serving a double fault to give away the first advantage.

But the World No. 5 immediately hit back and then pulled away, four straight games clinching him the set.

A whipping forehand down the line put Zverev up another break midway through the second and while Nadal resisted more pressure in the seventh game to hold, Zverev served out an impressive victory.

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In the women’s section, fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus eased past Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-3 to set up a final clash against top seed Ashleigh Barty.

The results: Men: Quarterfinals: Alexander Zverev bt Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-4; Dominic Thiem bt John Isner 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Pre-quarterfinals: Zverev bt Daniel Evans 6-3, 7-6(3); Isner bt Andrey Rublev 7-6(4), 3-6, 7-6(4); Casper Ruud bt Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6(4), 6-4; Matteo Berrettini bt Federico Delbonis 7-6(4), 6-4.

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Women: Semifinals: Aryna Sabalenka bt Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-3.

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