Verdasco, the 15th seed, had lost all of his previous 14 meetings with his Spanish compatriot. But the 28-year-old upset his Davis Cup team-mate 6-3 3-6 7-5 to book a quarter-final against Tomas Berdych. The Czech sixth seed eased through earlier on Thursday, winning 6-1 6-1 against Gael Monfils, seeded 12th. Nadal had previously won twice in Madrid and the six-time French Open champion was in good form having won a record eighth Monte Carlo title and a seventh Barcelona crown last month. The 25-year-old star took the third-round match to a deciding set but Verdasco, playing in his home city, prevailed to disrupt Nadal’s preparations for this year’s French Open, which begins later this month. Berdych had earlier ended Monfils’ comeback from injury. The Frenchman was playing for the first time since picking up an abdominal muscle problem in March and failed to earn a break point.
There was another surprise in the men’s draw as Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov knocked out fourth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France. Dolgopolov, seeded 16th, won 7-5 3-6 7-6 (7-2) to book a last-eight match with Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro, the 10th seed disposing of Croatian Marin Cilic 6-2 6-4.