Djokovic had battled back from 3-0 down in the deciding set in his opening match against Nicolas Almagro in the Spanish capital.
In another match, Frenchman Benoit Paire upset third-seeded Swiss Stan Wawrinka 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 to reach the round of 16 of the tournament.
Rafael Nadal will aim to keep his unbeaten start to the clay season going when he meets Novak Djokovic for a 50th time in the Madrid Masters semi-finals on Saturday.
“Even though I played really badly, my attitude has been very positive”, Nadal said.
Almagro was two points away from going up 4-2 in the final set but was not able to capitalize on his chances. “(The) French is more important”. “I’ve been playing at a high level during many weeks”.
Djokovic hasn’t played in the semifinals of any event since winning the title in Doha at the beginning of the year.
Murray has won only one tournament this season and hasn’t made it past the semifinals in the three clay-court tournaments he has played. “In history, we have never seen what he achieved during those years”, Nadal said of Djokovic, via First Post. He schooled a clearly frustrated Tomas Berdych who just could not get it together when it counted, except when it came to killing his racquet at the end.
Nadal has also dominated Djokovic at the French Open, beating him on six out of seven occasions.
It was Djokovic’s first match since splitting with longtime coach Marian Vajda.
However, Nadal conceded that the match will be tough and he has to be at his very best against the world number two. He threw his racket on the ground three times in a row after losing a decisive point in the tiebreaker. Nevertheless, he failed to control his shots in the 4th game and Nadal broke for a 3-1 lead after a lucky net cord on return. The fifth-ranked Spaniard has won 22 of his last 24 sets.
“I didn’t help myself find a way into the match to start playing better”, said Murray. When you win every single match in every tournament, that is abnormal.
Nadal, on the other hand, is enjoying a resurgent 2017, finishing runner-up at the Australian Open, Acapulco and Miami, and then winning historic 10th titles at the Barcelona Open and Monte Carlo Masters.
The sixth-seeded Nishikori said his wrist was “not 100 percent” and he didn’t “want to risk” a more serious injury.
Djokovic was punching the air after racing in to swoop for an incredible cross-court backhand victor, prompting applause from his stunned opponent, and the pressure told on Lopez when he netted a forehand to bow out when serving to stay in the tournament.
Kei Nishikori, sadly had to withdraw on the morning of the quarter-final, after being the first player into the quarter-finals after he defeated another Spaniard on home turf, David Ferrer.
The Canadian was 6-3, 5-0 up when Kerber, the world number two, ended the contest after picking up an injury.
The women’s draw saw Romania’s Simona Halep, the defending champion, move into round four. Mladenovic will play eighth-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russian Federation, who easily defeated Canadian Eugenie Bouchard 6-4, 6-0.