MADRID, Spain -- Defending champion Rafael Nadal gave his clay-court doldrums a boost by reaching the Madrid Open semifinals on Friday with a dominant performance against Thomas Berdych. [url=http://www.cheapcelticsjerseys.net/boston-celtics-bill-russell-jersey/]Boston Celtics Bill Russell Jersey[/url] . In the womens tournament, two-time defending champion Serena Williams withdrew with a leg injury, while Maria Sharapova ousted Li Na in the quarterfinals. The top-ranked Nadal had lost his previous two quarterfinal matches on clay for his worst run on the surface in a decade. But buoyed on by a partisan crowd, Nadal overpowered Berdych 6-4, 6-2 to advance at the Magic Box. "I brought great energy and intensity to it and thats the best news, that its my best (on clay) yet," Nadal said. "The things that, historically, Ive done well on this surface I managed to do them again today." Nadal has been improving with every match in Madrid after losing at the quarterfinals stage in preceding tournaments in Monte Carlo and Barcelona. But he showed no sign of the nerves that had uncharacteristically crept into the game of the most successful clay-court player ever as he pushed Berdych to the corners and punished him with a powerful forehand that accounted for 16 of his winners. "My play is good when Im hitting my forehand well, especially on clay," said Nadal, who is vying for his third title in the Spanish capital. "In Monte Carlo I used my backhand more and not my forehand, and when I have to hit five or six backhands in a row it doesnt help my game." Berdych, who dropped to 3-18 against Nadal, couldnt keep up in the hot sun beating down on Manolo Santana centre court. Nadal faces countryman Roberto Bautista Agut after the 45th-ranked player beat Colombias Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 6-4. David Ferrer followed Bautista Aguts victory with a 7-6 (3), 6-3 win over Ernests Gulbis to become the third Spaniard in the semis. Kei Nishikori prevented an all-Spanish lineup in the final four by beating Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 6-4 in the late match. The win also ensures that he will become the first Japanese player to break into the top 10 when the new world rankings are released on Monday. Nishikori remained undefeated on clay this season in nine matches after winning the Barcelona Open title. The top-ranked Williams has had her left thigh heavily bandaged this week and said she injured it during a first-round victory over Belinda Bencic on Sunday. "It started to get better but, most importantly right now, I just need some time to rest and recover. Its beyond words. Its so frustrating," Williams said in a statement. "This is not the way I wanted this week to end." The withdrawal gave 2011 champion Petra Kvitova a walkover and a spot in the semifinals. The 32-year-old Williams said the injury would not keep her out of the French Open, with the defending champion tweeting she would play in Rome next week before the second Grand Slam of the season starts on May 25. Sharapova reached the semis after she rallied to beat Li 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3. Li was in control until she failed to convert two break points in the 11th game of the second set. Errors then began creeping into the Australian Open champions game as Sharapova evened the match. After an exchange of breaks in the third set, the ninth-ranked Russian broke again and then held serve to win on Lis 43rd unforced error. "It really could have gone her way today. You know, it was just a matter of a few points in the second set," said Sharapova, who came through despite seven doublefaults. "I was down, I didnt play a great first set, and I found a way to get myself in a position to be in the third." Sharapova faces third-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska in the semifinals after the Polish player beat French qualifier Caroline Garcia 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. Kvitova will face fourth-seeded Simona Halep after the Romanian ousted Ana Ivanovic of Serbia 6-2, 6-2. [url=http://www.cheapcelticsjerseys.net/]Cheap Celtics Store[/url] . -- Cordell Cato scored his first goal of the season and the San Jose Earthquakes survived a full half playing a man down to beat FC Dallas 2-1 Saturday night. [url=http://www.cheapcelticsjerseys.net/]Cheap Celtics Jerseys[/url] . -- Jonas Hiller is cautiously confident he has kicked his vertigo. [url=http://www.cheapcelticsjerseys.net/]http://www.cheapcelticsjerseys.net/[/url] . Canada will host the second stop on the circuit, the 2014 Skate Canada International in Kelowna, British Columbia from October 31 - November 2, 2014 at Prospera Place.MILWAUKEE -- Goran Dragic tumbled to the floor after a hard foul. When he finally got up, he was holding his elbow. That didnt stop him from sealing the game for the Phoenix Suns. Dragic scored 10 of his 30 points in the final 3:28, helping the Suns beat the Milwaukee Bucks 126-117 on Wednesday night. "Emotions," Dragic said. "You are so much in the zone, the adrenaline keeps you going." Dragic hit the floor hard after a late foul by Larry Sanders, but was able to stay in the game -- and keep scoring, including a pair of 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions. But he was on the bench with a wrap on his left elbow in the closing minutes, and was escorted to the locker room with 52 seconds remaining. Dragic said an X-ray was negative, but his elbow was swollen. "Im a little bit concerned," Dragic said. "Right now it is too soon. We will see how I am feeling in the morning. Im a quick healer." Gerald Green scored 23 and Marcus Morris had 16 points off the bench for the Suns, who have won the first three games of a four-game road trip. Suns coach Jeff Hornacek wasnt pleased that his team frittered away a few big leads. "When we get up, we have a tendency to relax," Hornacek said. "If you are not scoring, at least play defence." Ersan Ilyasova scored 27 points and Brandon Knight added 24 for the Bucks, who have only one win in January. A sign of the times in a tough season: The biggest ovation of the night went not to a Bucks player but rather to former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver, who was sitting courtside. Still Bucks coach Larry Drew was pleased with the way his team responded from a pair of blowout losses. "There were some positives to come out of this game, and were going to continue to try to build on the positives," Drew said. And Drew was plenty impressed by Dragic. "I think a lot of people used to look at him as a reserve," Drew said. "But he has shown that hes a starter. Not only is he a starter, butt he has emerged as one of the top point guards in our league. [url=http://www.cheapcelticsjerseys.net/]Authentic Celtics Jerseys[/url]. " Leading by 12 at halftime, the Suns let the Bucks back in the game during a third-quarter spurt led by Knights ability to draw fouls and hit free throws. Milwaukee cut the lead to six before Green drained three 3-pointers in a stretch of just over two minutes -- gesturing to the crowd with three fingers on his way back down the court -- but Milwaukee hung close and went into the fourth quarter trailing 91-84. Green said he enjoyed going back and forth with the crowd. "Loved it," Green said. "Best part of the game to me. It kept fueling me up. It got me going. It is exciting playing against a crowd like that." The Bucks cut the lead to five on a fast-break slam dunk by rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo with 7:27 left in the game, but Phoenix responded with a 7-2 run. Dragic hit a 3-pointer with 4:04 left, giving the Suns a 114-102 lead, and hit two more 3-pointers to seal the game. Sanders played for Milwaukee despite a recent illness, coming off the bench to score 14 and grab nine rebounds. "They really capitalize on mistakes," Sanders said of the Suns. "They get out in the open floor and they run, they finish in transition and get fouled -- make something happen." Milwaukee was without guard O.J. Mayo because of flu-like symptoms, and forward Ekpe Udoh continued to sit out with a sprained left ankle. The Suns led by 12 at halftime, thanks to a second-quarter surge led by Dragic and Morris, who caused fits for Antetokounmpo on defence. A 25-7 run in the middle of the second quarter powered the Suns to a lead as large as 23 before the Bucks made up some ground going into the half. Notes: Antetokounmpo was selected to play in the "Rising Stars Challenge" during All-Star weekend. Coach Larry Drew is glad a national audience will get a chance to watch him. "It gives everybody a chance to see who he is now," Drew said. ... Green was called for a technical foul in the third quarter. 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