Rafael Nadal is through to his 16th quarter-final at the Madrid Masters following a thrilling victory over David Goffin. Nadal saved four match points in a 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 win in three hours and nine minutes of entertaining tennis.
Rafa had a chance to seal the deal in straight sets, squandering two match points in the second set's games nine and ten and allowing David to steal the set and stay in touch. Both players served well in the decider, and the result went back and forth in the tie break before Nadal prevailed 11-9 after denying four match points.
Nadal fired four powerful serves to wrap up the encounter's opening game in style. Goffin sprayed backhand errors to face a break point in game two. He denied it with a forehand winner and brought the game home to avoid an early setback after Nadal's forehand mistake.
Rafa held at 15 in the third game, and David closed the next one with a solid drop shot to level the score at 2-2. The Spaniard squandered a game point in game five and netted a routine forehand to find himself 3-2 behind. Rafa stayed calm and broke back at 15 in the next one after two double faults from David.
Nadal netted a backhand in game seven to face another break point, and Goffin squandered it with a loose backhand. The Spaniard secured a break in game eight after a forehand mistake from his rival to forge a 5-3 advantage and serve for the opener.
Rafa placed a forehand winner to wrap up the set in style and gain a boost ahead of the second. Goffin kicked off the second set with a hold after deuce before Nadal broke him at love in game three with a backhand down the line winner to open a 2-1 gap.
We saw eight commanding holds on both sides, and Rafa forged a 5-3 lead with a service winner. David fended off a match point on serve in game nine and made a crucial hold that kept him alive. Nadal squandered the second match point on his serve at 5-4 after Goffin's forehand winner and got broken in the worst moment.
David hammered another forehand winner in game 12 to seize the second set point and introduce a decider.
Rafael Nadal prevailed over David Goffin in Caja Magica.
The Belgian saved two break points in the third set's opening game and gained an additional boost to fight against a great rival.
Nadal started all over and served well to keep the pressure on the other side. Rafa held at love in game eight to lock the result at 4-4 and increase the drama. David survived deuce in the ninth game to remain on the positive side, and Rafa fired another powerful serve for a hold at love a few minutes later.
Goffin held at 15 in game 11, and Nadal responded in the 12th to introduce a tie break. The Belgian sprayed a forehand error in the fourth point and played a loose drop shot in the next one to find himself 4-1 down. David bounced back and reduced the deficit to 4-3 before landing a forehand winner.
Goffin fired another forehand winner to open a 5-4 gap and hit a smash winner for five straight points and two match points. Rafa saved the first with a service winner, and the second after David's loose forehand for 6-6 after three hours!
Goffin earned the third match point at 7-6, and Nadal denied it with a drop shot winner to extend the drama. Rafa placed a forehand crosscourt winner for the third match point, and David erased it with a smash winner for 8-8.
Another smash winner created the fourth match point for Goffin, and Nadal saved it with a drop shot winner for 9-9. The home favorite forced the rival's error for the fourth match point and sealed the deal after David's forehand mistake.