Dominic Thiem continued his winning run on clay while Novak Djokovic showed glimpses of his previous form at the 2019 Madrid Masters third round.
Thiem, who was coming into the tournament on the back of a title win at the Barcelona Open, overcame 10th seeded Fabio Fognini in straight sets to set up a potential meeting with Roger Federer. On the other hand, Djokovic, top seeded in the competition ran through the first set against Jeremy Chardy before needing a second set tie-breaker to win his third round encounter.
The Serb will now take on Marin Cilic, the ninth seed, who overcame the loss of the first set against Laslo Djere to win in three. Cilic won 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to enter the quarter-finals.
With form under his belt, Thiem had come into his match against Fognini as a definite favourite but the Italian had himself won the Monte-Carlo Masters last month. Having beaten Rafael Nadal in the semi-final, he would have been expected to give Thiem bit of a fight but the Austrian clinched 80 per cent of his points. In the process he also broke the Italian twice to win it 6-4, 7-5.
Djokovic was equally clinical in his win against Chardy, a player he has now beaten 13 times without losing to him. He took a quick 4-0 lead in the first set before Chardy saved three break-points to hold on to his first service game. The Frenchman fought harder in the second but Djokovic completed a straight-set win in 85 win to waltz into the quarter-final.
And he will now take on Cilic, who has won three matches in a row in this competition following a spate of defeats in the lead-up to this tournament.