At their best, Djokovic and Nishikori were perhaps the game's two outstanding athletes, renowned for their speed in defence and stamina over five sets. But injuries, to the wrist for Nishikori and elbow for Djokovic, have left each attempting recoveries and it was certainly evident here that both are still some way away. If Edmund beats Medvedev, he may fancy his chances against a player he is yet to take a set off in three meetings. Djokovic, however, will be keen to draw on the positives. His movement was better and he delivered in the crunch moments. There were also a handful of breathtaking retrievals the 30-year-old would have been proud of in his prime.
Novak Djokovic emerges victorious in heavyweight Madrid clash with Kei Nishikori https://t.co/1Std1g1KPF— Metro Sport (@Metro_Sport) May 7, 2018
Four games both players would have liked to forget prompted an exchange of breaks in the middle of the opening set but Djokovic stepped up a gear at 5-4. Nishikori resisted two rasping forehands but finally caved two games later as Djokovic clinched the frame. Djokovic seemingly defied physics by lashing one smash into the net early in the second but found his groove again at 5-4, breaking Nishikori to seal victory in just under two hours. Maria Sharapova's clay-court revival is also gathering pace after the Russian had earlier eased past Romanian big-hitter Irina-Camelia Begu in the women's tournament.
A good performance from Novak Djokovic.https://t.co/CZg7qrah0p— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 7, 2018