Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna entered the quarter-finals of the men’s doubles event while Leander Paes, playing with Jurgen Melzer, exited from the Madrid Open, on Thursday.
The sixth-seeded pair of Bhupathi and Bopanna defeated Argentine pair of Juan Monaco and Horacio Zeballos 6-3, 3-6, 10-5 in a hard-fough contest to make it to the last eight of the competition, which is considered to be warm-up event for the French Open.
However it was a disappointing day in office for Paes and Melzer. The German-Czech combination of Tommy Haas and Radek Stepanek hardly broke sweat as they beat the Indo-Austrian combination in straight sets 7-5, 6-1.
Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova stayed on course for a battle for the world number one slot in the Madrid Open final as they progressed into the last four with wins over Anabel Medina Garrigues and Kaia Kanepi respectively on Friday.
However, current number one Williams was given a huge scare by 30-year-old wildcard Garrigues before battling through 6-3, 0-6, 7-5.
The American hadn’t dropped a set all tournament until the Spaniard romped through the second set and Williams admitted she had to fight to up her intensity levels heading into the decider.
There were far fewer problems for Sharapova as she continued her run of not losing a set so far with a comfortable 6-2, 6-4 win over Kanepi.
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal avoided becoming the latest big name to be dumped out of the Masters as he recovered from a set and a break down to beat compatriot David Ferrer 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-0 to make the semi-finals. Ferrer is currently ranked ahead of Nadal.
Defending champion Roger Federer was dumped out of the Madrid Masters on Thursday by world No 14 Kei Nishikori as the Japanese came through 6-4 1-6 6-3 in their third round clash.