first_imgQuerrey broke back to level at 2-2, but Nadal pulled away Querrey broke back to level at 2-2, but Nadal pulled away in the final stages to remain on course for a fifth title in Madrid. “I had the confidence that if I managed to make the rallies longer, more than three balls, I knew that things could turn around,” said Nadal. “Luckily, thats what happened. I saved that important point when we were at 4-2. Then from 4-2 I managed to break him and from there on things went more or less perfectly.” Nadal next meets Portugals Joao Sousa who overcame Jack Sock 6-1 6-7 (3/7) 6-2. Murray extended his impressive record over Simon to 14-2 with a 6-4, 6-2 win over 16th seed. The two-time Grand Slam champion will face Tomas Berdych in the last eight after the Czech got the better of David Ferrer 7-6 (10/8) 7-5. “After the first six or seven games I really started to hit the ball well,” said Murray. “I served well throughout the match. It was a good performance. Normally against Gilles its always a complicated match because of the way he plays. He always makes it very difficult. There are a lot of long rallies, but because of the conditions, it was a bit faster, I was able to get a lot more free points on my serve.” World No 6 Kei Nishikori continued his fine form on the clay to reach the last eight with a 6-4 7-5 win over 10th seed Richard Gasquet. Nishikori faces controversial Australian Nick Kyrgios on Friday after he dug deep to battle past Uruguayan clay-court specialist Pablo Cuevas 7-6 (7/5) 4-6 6-3. In the womens Madrid Open, the only remaining seed Simona Halep was victorious in an all-Romanian quarter-final against Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3 0-6 6-1. Halep — a finalist in Madrid in 2014 – will face former US Open champion Sam Stosur after she beat Patricia Maria Tig 6-3 6-4. American qualifier Louisa Chirico also continued her fairytale run to reach the semi-finals. Chirico, ranked 130 in the world, beat Australian Daria Gavrilova 7-6 (7/1), 6-2 to reach her first ever WTA semi-final where she will face Dominika Cibulkova, who came from a set down to beat the fourth Romanian in the quarters, Sorana Cirstea, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. AFP KHS KHSadvertisementlast_img read more