Nadal overcomes early wobble to quieten Querrey


Rafael Nadal overcame a difficult start against Sam Querrey to book his place in the Madrid Open quarter-finals with a 6-4 6-2 success.

The Spaniard, roared on by his vociferous home faithful, found himself 4-1 down in the first set, but recovered his poise to progress.

Nadal is chasing a fourth consecutive final at the ATP 1000 clay-court event, while victory would make him a five-time champion.

World number 37 Querrey showcased his devastating power on a number of occasions, but eventually it was Nadal who prevailed on his preferred surface to book a last-eight meeting with Joao Sousa.

Querrey made a blistering start, stunning Nadal with the unerring accuracy of his groundstrokes as the home favourite struggled to gain a foothold.

Few in the partisan crowd could argue the American deserved his 3-0 lead, although Nadal finally stirred into action as he found his range.

Having got back on serve, Nadal looked much more like his old self and broke for a 5-4 lead as a Querrey forehand landed narrowly wide.

The set was sealed in spectacular fashion, Nadal hammering home a cross-court smash from the baseline as his opponent had no answer.

Having cancelled out a Nadal break with one of his own early in the second set, Querrey dropped serve again when he attempted a deft drop-shot that went wide.

The belief appeared to be seeping away from Querrey, who double-faulted to hand a 5-2 lead to Nadal, the Spaniard sealing victory with a sparkling in-to-out forehand.