PHOTOS: Cristiano Ronaldo watched Rafael Nadal’s victory over Joao Sousa in Madrid

Four-time champion Rafael Nadal beat Portuguese world number 35 Joao Sousa 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 to progress to the semi-finals of the Madrid Open.

Rafa dominated the opening set for the loss of just 10 points, but struggled after the roof was closed due to rain midway through the second set. However, a Sousa double fault handed our champ the solitary break of serve he needed in the eighth game of the decider before serving out to seal victory.

Rafa will next play defending champion Andy Murray.

Cristiano Ronaldo took time away from the end-of-season run-in to enjoy some of the tennis in the Magic Box.

Two days after Real Madrid reached Champions League final by beating Manchester City, the Portugal star took a seat to watch our champ in action on the clay.


    and may you put EVERY effort into game against Murray.

    i will be praying for you tomorrow,



  2. Rafa won the match that’s the main thing so please stop stating how he should have played this match
    At the end of the day he is the one on the court and he himself will know what or if he hasn’t done right but he got himself together and won!!!!!
    So be pleased for this I am and wish him the best for tomorrow
    Yes he will have a touch match against Andy he know this and knows he will have to fight very hard to win this and I really hope he does and I beleive he will
    So go Rafa go win the match !!!!

  3. Still too far behind the baseline>the second serve of the opponent! But, still, he gets the answers to beat them! He has to be 100% tomorrow, otherwise Murray will go with the win and the trophy! Vamos campeon! Believe and stay focused!

  4. Rafa won, sure. But very worrying signs. Why let up after winning the first set 6-0? This is not the WTA!

    I thought, Murray also almost lost his first match, so no biggie- everybody gets an off day now and then. But no, Murray got better as the tournament has progressed. Rafa played a good first two matches, a good first set against Sousa, and then suddenly lost the plot? You don’t do that against Murray or Djoker.

    Good luck against Murray tomorrow champ!

    • I agree with you 100%…Rafa Cannot be so inconsistent against Murray or Dejokavic…they will be there like a spider waiting for a fly in it’s web!! With that being said our champion always finds a way to come back…but it’s going to be a lot more difficult with Dejokavic and Murray!!! Vamos Rafa… so great to see you back on your Throne….love love love you!!!

  5. Rafa’s serving has improved considerably over the last month. It is a great sign to see him go out wide from the Deuce side and down the T from the Ad side. His service speed is up too, with the ball skidding through as opposed to sitting up to be a hit.

    Only concerning item was that he was standing too far back through the second set and the start of the third. It is like he has to force himself to be aggressive, which is why he goes back to defensive play when the chips are down. These subtle adjustments to positioning and attitude will enable Rafa to ride this momentum to the FO trophy.

  6. Fight on, Rafael! Keep your focus; Andy will have no mercy if you let up. Fire
    It up!!👊👊💪💪⚡️⚡️🏆🏆❤️👑

  7. Congratulations great job done. Playing tough and positive. Love my king of clay. Good luck with andy. Come away with the win. From Ogallala Nebraska USA.

  8. Congrats Rafa. Good luck for tomorrow. You have to step up against Murray to have chances.

    Vamos Rafa!!!

  9. Sadly, the closing of the roof affected Rafa’s play and encouraged Joao. I agree that it should not have done so, but I wonder if Rafa was 100%? He said that he was not feeling great yesterday. He will need to play better tomorrow, but I am thankful for his win today!

  10. Rafa let his aggressive offense game drop a bit after winning that first set so handily. He got it all together and kept his cool and convincingly won that 7th game (his service game) and that got Joao under pressure to serve well and he buckled under that pressure and Rafa went it for the kill. Rafa did well and good luck for tomorrow in semis!

  11. The roof delay affected Rafa’s game as he was on a roll before then. That is no excuse however because he is a professional and should be able to adjust to such eventualities.

    Overall, he is playing a lot better than last year and he is overcoming challenges that he would have succumbed to in 2015. He still has areas that he needs to improve upon before the FO.

    I wanted to make a suggestion that he forgoes the Rome Masters but now I do feel that he needs it (Not just for ranking purposes) but to fine-tune his game.

    The positive is this- I don’t see anyone apart from Djokovic giving Rafa problems over 5 sets.

    Vamos Rafa!!

  12. That was a bit worrying especially as rafa is playing murray tommorw. Relieved rafa won but he needs to step it up and focus!

    • Yes he must play at his very best!Believe in himself.All our prayers tomorrow and always.💌😘

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