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ATP Madrid - quarterfinals

ATP Madrid - quarterfinals

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by Voo De Mar

Photo: Nadal and Llodra during one of the most spectacular points in their match (Daylife) The two best players in the world, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are just one win away from a dream final against each other, in which one amazing streak definitely will be broken: either Nadal's 37 consecutive wins on clay or Djokovic's 33 consecutive wins (31 this year)! In the first quarterfinal between two players with the same initials (T.B.) Thomaz Bellucci upset Thomas Berdych 7-6(2), 6-3 avenging three consecutive defeats.

There was only one break point, converted by Bellucci at 4:3 in the 2nd set, a game before Bellucci was forced to play 'deuce' on serve the only time in the match. It's arguably the best tournament in career of the 23-year-old Brazilian, who has collected two '250' titles.

Just like yesterday against Daniel Gimeno-Traver, Michael Llodra couldn't find a proper rhythm at the beginning of his match and found himself quickly at 0:4 against Rafael Nadal in the 1st set.

Afterwards Llodra was helpless on return games (couldn't deal with Nadal's heavy topspins), but had a good streak of four service games held. In the 5th game of the 2nd set, Nadal raised his defensive skills though, passed the opponent with a half-volley, made a successful run to a stop-volley and got a break with help of a backhand lob.

The match was virtually finished then, ten minutes later Nadal posted a 6-2, 6-2 win on his third match point. "Today it was quite good, especially here with the altitude it’s a little bit more complicated because it’s more difficult to go over him" analyzed Rafa.

Roger Federer outplayed Robin Soderling in typical style. The Swede had saved in impressive style three set points in the 1st set before the tie-break, but in the breaker Federer as usual against Soderling, mixed the things up and repeated it at the end of the 2nd set, breaking him in the 9th game (with help of lucky netcord) to score 7-6(2), 6-4 victory.

"I think this is a match that many fans and media want to see, especially here in his home country," said Federer about his semifinal with Nadal. The last quarterfinal was highly anticipated because David Ferrer seemed to be the only guy beside Nadal who would beat Novak Djokovic on clay this year, Djokovic had a winning record against Ferrer (5-4) but was defeated in their all three previous encounters on clay.

The Serb used his forehand perfectly in the most important moments to notch a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 victory over the Spaniard, finishing the contest just before midnight of the local time. .

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