MADRID - World number one Rafael Nadal stormed into the semi-finals of the Madrid Masters yesterday with his 17th consecutive win over Tomas Berdych, 6-4 6-2.
Maria Sharapova also booked her place in the last four of the Madrid Open with a three-set win over Li Na, but top seed and reigning champion Serena Williams was forced to pull out of the tournament due to a thigh injury.
Despite coming into the tournament with doubts following surprise defeats to David Ferrer and Nicolas Almagro in recent weeks, Nadal has looked in fine form in the Spanish capital as he has cruised into the last four without the loss of a set.
The 13-time Grand Slam champion will meet compatriot Roberto Bautista Agut or Colombia's Santiago Giraldo today for a place in the final.
Williams was due to face Petra Kvitova in the quarter-finals but pulled out due to a thigh injury she had been carrying since sweeping aside Swiss teenager Belinda Bencic in the first round.
"It happened during my first round match. It started to get better, but most importantly right now, I just need some time to rest and recover," Williams said.