Nishikori faces David Ferrer next, who progressed as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga withdrew with a shoulder injury.
"It's going to be a very tough match against one of the best players in tennis history", Nadal summarized. "I was enjoying very much". "I know tomorrow is going to be a day that either I play really well or I'm not going to have many chances".
It is the Serb's first semi-final since he won the Qatar Open in January. Nadal last beat Djokovic in the 2014 French Open final. "It was good for the first match".
Djokovic, who has refused to rule out appointing Andre Agassi as coach, prowled around the court and had the bit between his teeth as he stayed in the hunt for only a second title of the year with the French Open on the horizon. In set number 2 we saw picture ideal Nadal, who had 17 winners and just 2 unforced errors in 7 games played!
The quarter-finals of the women's tournament saw Simone Halep, the highest surviving seed, breeze past American Coco Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-1, while 14 seed, Kristina Mladenovic defeated Sorana Cirstea 6-4, 6-4 and unseeded Latvian Anastasija Sevastova had a straight-set triumph 6-3, 6-3 against Kiki Bertens. The third-seeded Halep, who also lost the 2014 final to Maria Sharapova, will play to keep her title against eighth-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russian Federation or Kristina Mladenovic of France.
"I played a lot better", said Nadal, who struggled in a three-set win over Fabio Fognini on Wednesday "It was a big step forward".
Nadal, with an ATP World Tour-best 30 match wins on the season, recorded his fifth victory in seven clay-court meetings against Fognini 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-4 in two hours and 57 minutes on Court Manolo Santana.
Delphi joins self-driving alliance with BMW, Intel
Delphi will integrate a scalable autonomous solution developed by the existing partners to various OEM vehicle architectures. The partners will decide each company's role in the partnership, as well as the financial arrangements, in coming months.
Goffin, who has 27 victories, was trying to make it to his third final this season.
Had Almagro kept up that level of play, at least on his own service games, where he'd had a huge advantage-he won 86 percent of first-serve points in the second set, 84 percent in the third set, and 78 percent for the match as a whole, a real feat versus a returner as savvy as Djokovic-the upset would have been his.
The exciting Australian was riding a fine wave of form, having twice beaten Novak Djokovic this year and coming within points of denying Roger Federer in the semis of Miami, where he finally lost the third of three tiebreaks.
In probably the men's match of the tournament so far, No. 8 seed Dominic Thiem came back from a set down to beat Grigor Dimitrov in a thrilling deciding tie-break.
Djokovic hasn't made it this deep into any event since winning the title in Doha at the beginning of the year.
It was a familiar story for Kyrgios, though, who seemed to lose motivation and desire when the first set started to get away from him and the 14-time major victor took full advantage to set up a quarter-final with David Goffin.