Cuevas wows in Madrid, Djokovic awaits Nadal

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Pablo Cuevas enjoyed a landmark day at the Madrid Open and celebrated with a familiar face afterwards.

The Argentine-born Uruguayan fought back from a set down to defeat Alexander Zverev and then posed, all smiles, with Atletico Madrid and France star Antoine Griezmann.

His progress to the last four at the ATP Masters 1000 event came after Novak Djokovic had been given a walkover following Kei Nishikori's injury-enforced withdrawal.

The world number two will face Rafael Nadal, who saw off the threat of David Goffin, while Andy Murray's conqueror Borna Coric was brought back down to earth by Dominic Thiem.


Cuevas summoned something special to turn around his match with Zverev, coming through 3-6 6-0 6-4.

It was in the second set that he produced his best tennis, including what may well have to go down as the shot of the year.

With his back turned and standing well beyond the baseline, he came up with a miraculous winner to leave his German opponent stunned en route to a second-set bagel.

He will take on Thiem next after the Austrian won 6-1 6-4 against Coric, who saw off world number one Murray in straight sets.


A wrist injury ended Nishikori's involvement in Spain, sparing 2016 winner Djokovic the rigours of a last-eight meeting.

The Serbian, who recently split from his entire coaching team in a bid to revive his flagging fortunes, is trying to chase down Murray at the summit of the world rankings.

And defending his Madrid title will keep that bid on track after Murray's early exit.

It is the first time the 12-time grand slam winner has got past the quarter-finals this year since losing to Murray in January's Qatar Open final.