Romania's Simona Halep during her quarter final match against Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova. REUTERS/Paul Hanna
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Maria Sharapova and Simona Halep continued the flurry of big-name casualties at the Madrid Open Thursday as both crashed out in the quarterfinals. Sharapova lost in three sets to Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands while Halep, the champion in 2016 and 2017, was blown away by Karolina Pliskova.It means Pliskova, the sixth seed, is the highest ranked player left in the women's draw after Caroline Wozniacki, Garbine Muguruza, Elina Svitolina and Jelena Ostapenko all lost earlier in the week.Lajovic gave up a break in the deciding set and made a nightmare start in the tiebreak but came from behind to win 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (6).He will now face South Africa's Kevin Anderson, who overcame Philipp Kohlschreiber.A win will take Nadal past John McEnroe's record of 49 straight sets won on any surface.
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