Past champions Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray cruised into the Madrid Open quarterfinals, both detained for little more than an hour each on Thursday.
On the women's side, two-time champ Serena Williams and titleholder Maria Sharapova reached the semifinals, and remained on course to meet in the final.
Nadal, the two-time defending champion, eased past Simone Bolelli of Italy, 6-2, 6-2. Serving for the match, Nadal hit some typically agile shots; he earned match point by racing forward to reach a drop shot, then hurrying back to hit a heavy top-spun lob over Bolelli to within inches of the corner of the court.
Nadal was giving this week's tournament more importance than...