Nadal swept past Finland's Jakko Nieminen 6-1, 6-4, while number 6 seed Berdych has to fight back from a set down before defeating Bulgarian number 12 seed Grigor Dimitrov 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

The draw continues to open up for Nadal after the withdrawals of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic and the defeat of number three seed Stanislas Wawrinka earlier in the week.

Thursday saw number 7 seed Andy Murray's disappointing season continue as he lost to Colombian qualifier, Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 6-2, while number 8 seed Milos Raonic lost a tight game to Nei Nishikori 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5).

While the top seeds have struggled in the men's competition, the favourites in the women's tournament have all made progress, although Li Na had to recover from a set down against American Sloane Stephens before winning 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.

The number 2 seed was way below her best, unconvincing on her serve and hit 46 unforced errors on her way to victory and she knows she will have to improve in order to beat Maria Sharapova on Thursday.

Sharapova, who is seeded 8 in Madrid this year, had a straight set, 6-4, 6-3 win over Australian, Samantha Stosur.

Serena Williams beat Spaniard Carla Suarez 6-2, 6-3, while Petra Kvitkova also progressed 6-4, 6-3 against Lucie Saforova and number 3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska swept past Robert Vinci 6-1, 6-1 in less than an hour.


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