Murray forced out, Nadal to face Alcaraz in Madrid Open quarters

MADRID – Andy Murray’s third-round match against Novak Djokovic at the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament was canceled on Thursday after he was forced to withdraw after suffering an attack of food poisoning.,Murray pulled out of the match just an hour before it was due to start in Madrid, meaning fans were unable to enjoy the first meeting between the two in five years. After Murray defeated 14th seed Denis Shapovalov, the 14th seed, in the previous round.,Djokovic enjoys a walkover into the quarter-finals but misses out on the chance to get another match under his belt after missing the first three months of the season due to his refusal to get a Covid-19 vaccination.,Djokovic will meet Hubert Hurkacz after the 12th seed defeated Dusan Lajovic 7-5, 6-3 early in the afternoon.,Rafael Nadal saved four match points in a dramatic third set tiebreak before finally triumphing 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (9) against David Goffen and will meet fellow Spaniard, Carlos Alcaraz, who won another three-set marathon 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-3 against ninth seed Cameron Norrie.,”Alcaraz is better than I am at the moment,” commented Nadal to the press after his match.,Sixth seed, Andrey Rublev won a close match against Dan Evans, 7-6(7), 7-5, to book his place in the quarter-finals, where he will meet Stefanos Tsitsipas, who had a straight-sets win 6-3, 6-4 against Grigor Dimitrov.,Felix Auger Aliassime had a comfortable 6-1, 6-2 triumph against 10th seed Jannik Sinner, but second seed Alexander Zverev had an even easier time with a walkover after Lorenzo Musetti, who had to withdraw injured after losing the first set 6-3.,In the women’s semi-finals, Ons Jabeur, who is the highest surviving seed left in the tournament, assured her place in the final thanks to a 6-2, 6-3 triumph over Ekaterina Alexandrova.