Rafa Nadal sets up Novak Djokovic semi in Madrid, overtakes Roger Federer

Djokovic made the last four after Nishikori withdrew from their match with a wrist injury.

While Djokick leads the head-to-head rivalry by a 26-23 margin, Naadal holds a 9-4 edge against the Serbian in Grand Slam events and a 4-3 record in Grand Slam finals.

Nadal and Djokovic are preparing for their 50th encounter against each other with the Serb holding a slim advantage over his long-time rival.

"When you win every single match in every tournament, that is abnormal. I know it is going to be a day that either I play really well or I'm not going to have many chances".

The world number eight missed the Barcelona Open late last month due to the recurring problem.

He saved all six break opportunities he conceded to Nadal in the first set, but the fifth-ranked Spaniard took control of the tiebreaker under the closed roof on centre court.

The second set was more routine for Nadal, who conjured a sliding backhand to win a point he looked certain to lose, leaving Goffin with a rueful smile.

Nadal claimed the first break in the second game of the second set and maintained his recent momentum to earn what was ultimately a comfortable win.

Nadal wasn't to be denied, though, as he broke once more and served out to seal victory after exactly two hours on court.

Croatian Borna Coric, conqueror of world number one Andy Murray in the third round, plays Dominic Thiem of Austria later on Friday with the victor meeting Pablo Cuevas in the other semi-final after the Uruguayan beat German Alexander Zverev 3-6 6-0 6-4.

And Cuevas landed the only break in the final game of the deciding set when Zverev fired wide to set up a semi-final against Dominic Thiem or Andy Murray's conqueror Borna Coric.

Rafael Nadal has been on an incredible run on clay this year, winning titles at Barcelona and Monte Carlo, but he will face a stern test in the Madrid Open semi-final against defending champion Novak Djokovic.

'I can not promise to play or pull out right now.

Halep also thrashed the world number 22 two weeks ago in Stuttgart and there was never any danger of an upset as the Romanian reeled off five straight games to close out the opening set.

The defending champion got off on the wrong foot in the second, and trailed 3-0 after surrendering her first service game.

Djokovic has constantly pushed Nadal out of his comfort zone, and over the last few years has cracked the formula of getting the better of the Spaniard.

Halep has yet to win an ATP title this year, but victory against either Svetlana Kuznetsova or Kristina Mladenovic in Saturday's (Sunday NZT) final at the Caja Majica would see her climb to fourth in the rankings.

Djokovic moved into the semi-finals of the Madrid Masters on Friday.

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