Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic
Nadal beat Djokovic in straight sets when they met in the semi-finals of the Madrid Open on 13 May

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are on course for a second semi-final meeting in 2017 after the duo won their respective round of 16 matches against Jack Sock and Roberto Bautista Agut.

Nadal and Djokovic faced each other the semi-finals of the Madrid Open last week which the former won in straight sets on the way to the title. However, for them to meet again, they will have to overcome their quarter-final opponents.

The 14-time men's singles Grand Slam champion, who beat Sock 6-3, 6-4 on Thursday (18 May), will face his opponent from the Madrid Open final Dominic Thiem in the last eight. A win against the Austrian will make it 18 consecutive match wins for the Spaniard.

Djokovic, meanwhile, will face Juan Martin Del Potro in the last eight after the Argentine knocked out seventh seed Kei Nishikori in the round of 16. He will prove a tricky opponent for the Serb, who is struggling for form at the moment and Del Potro could target another high profile scalp.

Nadal has won three back-to-back titles – Monte Carlo Masters, Barcelona Open and the Madrid Masters - since the clay court swing started and is favourite at the ongoing tournament in Rome. His current form has also seen him installed as the odds on favourite to lift his 10<sup>th Roland Garros title.

Since the start of the Monte Carlo Masters, the 30-year-old has dropped just two sets, once against Kyle Edmund in the second round at the Principality and then against Fabio Fognini in the second round in Madrid. Nadal however is not taking his form for granted and admitted after his win over Sock that he can improve in a number of areas.

"There is always room to improve. That's why I wake up every morning. I go to practice with the motivation to improve something," Nadal said, as quoted on ATP's official site. "I can keep serving better. I can hit some more winners with the forehand and it's something that I am working on every day to try and make happen. But it's obvious that I am playing well and I should be very happy with the way that I am doing things."