David Goffin almost caused a big stunt at the WTA tournament at the Spanish Masters 1,000 tournament in Madrid. In the third round, he lost to Spanish star Rafael Nadal in three sets: 6-3, 5-7 and 7-6 (11-9). In the decisive tiebreak, Goffin was unable to use four match balls. The match lasted three hours and ten minutes.
It was the seventh time that Goffin and Nadal faced each other. Goffin was able to win two of those and was close to it again. In the first set Nadal (number four in the world) was stronger, but in the second the Belgian, number 60 in the world, started to play better and better. It finally gave him the set win. The third set was a thriller that was decided in the tiebreak. Goffin could serve four times before the match, but just then Nadal brought out his best tennis. The Spaniard was able to use his fourth match ball.
In the quarterfinals, Nadal will play against his compatriot Carlos Alcaraz or the British Cameron Norrie.
Earlier on Thursday, defending champion Alexander Zverev also secured a place in the last eight. The German number three in the world, second seed in Madrid, saw his Italian opponent Lorenzo Musetti (ATP-63) give up in the second set. In the quarterfinals he will face Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime (ATP-10), who eliminated Italian Jannik Sinner (ATP-12) 6-1 and 6-2.