Nick Kyrgios’s impressive run at the Madrid Masters has come to an end at the hands of American John Isner, who claimed a hard-fought 6-3, 6-7 (7/5), 6-4 win in the third round.
Kyrgios, who prevailed over top seed Roger Federer on the clay courts in Madrid on Thursday morning (AEST).
In a battle of two big servers, it was the big American who held the advantage, recording 20 aces to Kyrgios’s 10 while serving at 73 per cent on the first serve.
Kyrgios, perhaps fatigued after his epic encounter with Federer the day before, failed to record even one break point against the 16th seed, who will now face Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals.
Meanwhile Rafa Nadal raced into the last eight by brushing aside unseeded Italian Simone Bolelli 6-2, 6-2 to set up a quarter-final clash against Bulgarian 10th seed Grigor Dimitrov.
Chasing a third straight title at the clay Masters event in the Spanish capital, and a fifth overall, third seed Nadal needed little more than an hour to see off an outclassed Bolelli, saving both break points he faced on his serve.
Dimitrov earlier edged eighth-seeded Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka, who Nadal beat in the 2013 Madrid final, 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 6-3.
Czech Tomas Berdych, the sixth seed, moved into the last eight to face Isner by cruising past 12th-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5, 6-2.
Andy Murray made light work of Spain’s Marcel Granollers to seal his place in the quarter-finals 6-2, 6-0.
Murray did not get off court until 3am on Thursday morning (local time) in disposing of Philipp Kohlschreiber in the previous round, but enjoyed a far more straightforward evening against the world number 62.
The Scot has never progressed beyond the last eight in five attempts in the Spanish capital since it changed to a clay court tournament in 2009 and will face Milos Raonic who beat Leonardo Mayer 6-4, 6-3.
Sharapova, Williams move into semi-finals
Serena Williams extended her unbeaten record this season to 24-0 as she swept aside Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro 6-1, 6-3 to reach the semi-finals.
Williams had to save three match points in overcoming two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka on Thursday (AEST), but had no such trouble as she maintained her record of never having dropped a set against Navarro in their six meetings.
The 19-time Grand Slam champion will face either fourth seed Petra Kvitova or Irina-Camelia Begu in the semi-finals.
Defending champion Maria Sharapova also reached the last four for a third consecutive year with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 win over Caroline Wozniacki.
The Russian showed no ill effects early on from her marathon win over Caroline Garcia as she raced through the first set.
Sharapova broke again in the first game of the second set, but a host of errors handed the momentum back to the world number five and Wozniacki served out to take the match into a deciding set.
The third set followed a similar pattern, except this time it was Wozniacki who failed to build on an early break as Sharapova’s power from the baseline proved too much for the Dane.
And after breaking in the penultimate game, Sharapova rounded off victory in just over two hours on court to set up a semi-final meeting with either Lucie Safarova or Svetlana Kuznetsova.