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Sports Briefs

Published:Wednesday | May 10, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Djokovic, Nadal advance at Madrid Open


Defending champion Novak Djokovic recovered from a 3-0 deficit in the third set to defeat Nicolas Almagro 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 and reach the third round at the Madrid Open yesterday.

Djokovic rallied in the final set by breaking Almagro to go up 6-5 and served out to earn his 15th win of the season in over two hours. The victory left Djokovic on track to play a semi-final against four-time Madrid champion and home-crowd favourite Rafael Nadal, who struggled in a 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-4 win over Fabio Fognini of Italy in just under three hours.

Nadal will play Nick Kyrgios of Australia, who defeated Ryan Harrison of the United States 6-3, 6-3. The second-seeded Djokovic will play veteran Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, who got past Gilles Simon of France 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (3).

Mourinho: Europa semi is 'most important' match


Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has described the second leg of his team's Europa League semi-final against Celta Vigo today as "the most important match of our history".

United, three-time European champions and 20-time English champions, lead 1-0 from the first leg in Spain last week.

The winners of the Europa League earn a place in next season's Champions League, increasing its significance for a United side that have only played in Europe's top competition for one of the last three seasons.

"For Celta, it's - in their words - the most important match of their history," Mourinho said yesterday. "My feelings, it's also the most important match of our history. It doesn't matter what happened before, how big the matches we played before."