Rafael Nadal and Grigor Dimitrov will meet for the sixth time on Friday, the third on clay. Rafa has won all their five previous matches but dropped a set in the first four meetings. In their last encounter, at the Italian Open, the Spaniard won with a double 6-2 in the Semifinals.
Nadal has already won 3 titles in Madrid on clay plus 1 when the tournament was played on indoor hard court. He has reached the Final in 5 of the 6 editions since the event was moved to May and is on a 12 matches winning streak, having lifted the trophy in 2013 and 2014.
To reach the Quarterfinals, the World No.4 has beaten American Steve Johnson 6-4, 6-3 and Italian Simone Bolelli, 6-2, 6-2.
Rafa has uncharacteristically already lost 3 times on clay this season. Should he lose against Dimitrov, it would be the first time since 2003 the he loses 4 or more matches in the same year on his favorite surface.
Beating Stan Wawrinka 7-6, 3-6, 6-3 in the 3rd Round, Dimitrov has claimed his first win against a top-10 player since he beat Andy Murray in the Quarterfinals at Wimbledon last year.