World No 1 dumped by young Croatian, Nadal, Djokovic advance
MADRID aside by the 20-year-old Croatian for the second time in the pair’s four meetings.
“I didn’t help myself find a way into the match to start playing better,” said Murray.
“I definitely think I need to be concerned about today.
“It’s not always the worst thing losing a match, but it’s sometimes the manner of how you lose the match is what can be concerning or disappointing.”
Coric broke the fragile Murray serve three times in the first set under the roof at the Manolo Santana centre court due to rain in the Spanish capital.
And one poor service game from the Wimbledon champion cost him dear in the second as Coric served out for the match to set up a quarter-final meeting with Dominic Thiem.
Nadal had no such troubles as he dominated Kyrgios to beat the Australian in just over an hour.
“I played really well tonight. Right from the start I made very few errors,” said the Spaniard.
“To win 6-3, 6-1 against an opponent as good as Nick, isn’t normal.”
The 14-time Grand Slam champion had a slice of fortune as a let cord and a Kyrgios double fault handed him the two breaks he needed to take the first set.
However, Kyrgios showed little resistance after being broken once more in the first game of the second set as he was whistled from at the end by Spanish fans unhappy at only seeing Nadal on court for 73 minutes.
And he admitted to having a defeatist attitude from the start.
“I wasn’t expecting to beat him at all tonight, to be honest,” said Kyrgios.
Nadal plays David Goffin in the quarter-finals after the Belgian beat World No 6 Milos Raonic 64, 6-2.
After suffering his own struggles of late, Djokovic was encouraged by his display in seeing off Lopez and a partisan crowd to reach the last eight.
“If you’re playing against a Spanish player in Madrid, it’s obviously a different game, it’s a different feeling,” said Djokovic.
“They have a lot of support. You need to kind of hold your nerve, hold your concentration, and use all the necessary energy at the right moments.”
Djokovic faces a much tougher test in the last eight against World No 8 Kei Nishikori, who earlier swept aside David Ferrer 6-4, 6-3.
However, Nishikori has only won two of their previous 13 meetings.
“Novak is someone that I don’t have good record (against),” said the Japanese.
“I got to stay really positive and I got to play great tennis to beat him.”
Thiem saved five match points to edge out Grigor Dimitrov a thrilling third set tie-break 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (11/9).
Twenty-year-old German Alexander Zverev continued his fine form with a 6-4, 6-4 win over 11th seed Tomas Berdych to set up a quarter-final against Pablo Cuevas, who beat Benoit Paire 75, 0-6, 6-1.
In the women’s Madrid Open, third seed Simona Halep remaineds on course to defend her title as she thrashed American Coco Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-1.
Halep faces Latvian Anastasija Sevastova in the semi-finals after the World No 22 saw off Kiki Bertens 6-3, 6-3.
Svetlana Kuznetsova ended Eugenie Bouchard’s impressive run to the quarters in convincing fashion 6-4, 6-0.
The Russian will meet Kristina Mladenovic in the last four as she beat Sorana Cristea 6-4, 6-4. AFP
Andy Murray lost to Borna Coric in the third round of the Madrid Open on Thursday.