12 May, 2017
Earlier, world No.1 Andy Murray crashed out in the third round to 20-year-old Borna Coric 6-3 6-3 as his hard start to the clay season continued.
World No.1 Andy Murray has suffered a shock exit in his 3rd round match of Madrid Open at the hands of 20-year-old Borna Chori.
German Alexander Zverev also reached the last eight by beating Czech Tomas Berdych and will play Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay, while Coric will play Dominic Thiem, who lost the Barcelona Open final to Nadal last month. Thiem saved five match points to edge out Grigor Dimitrov a thrilling third set tie-break 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (11/9).
"I was able to play with good control over the game".
While Murray should be focusing on improving his game, the world no.1 once again criticised Maria Sharapova who could be set to receive a wild card entry into the British grass-court events.
The world number 59 did not waste that opportunity, his brilliant backhand drop-shot drawing a wide return from Murray, who will hope for swift improvement at the Internazionali d'Italia.
"The level was definitely very high today I thought from both players", Djokovic said.
The result is a further blow to Murray's build-up for the French Open later this month.
"Hopefully I can do that with my team, and play better in Rome and Roland Garros".
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"Most things weren't working particularly well", Murray said.
"I made a lot of unforced errors and I also didn't find any way to make it a more competitive match, so that's the most disappointing thing for me".
The Scot's second serve was letting him down, his forehand was, to put it politely, wayward and when he should have been reverting to Plan B to try and stop his young rival, he discovered that he did not have one.
"I couldn't imagine this when I woke up this morning, I always believed but I wasn't sure how I was going to play, but in the end I played as I had dreamed".
Japan's Kei Nishikori saw off David Ferrer of Spain 6-4, 6-3.
Halep looked at ease as she claimed a 6-1, 6-1 win over Coco Vandeweghe of the United States.
The Russian will meet Kristina Mladenovic in the last four as she beat Sorana Cristea 6-4, 6-4.
The 14-time Grand Slam champion had a slice of fortune as a let cord and a Kyrgios double fault handed him the two breaks he needed to take the first set.
The fifth-ranked Nadal will play ninth-seeded David Goffin of Belgium, who cruised to a 6-4, 6-2 win over fifth-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada.