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One Down, One To Go For Nadal; Robredo Upsets Berdych

Barcelona, Spain

Nadal© Manuel QueimadelosRafael Nadal overcame Benoit Paire to reach the quarter-finals.

Rafael Nadal has his job half done in Barcelona on Friday, beating Benoit Paire 7-6(2), 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals. The seven-time champion will return to court later for his quarter-final match against Albert Ramos, after rain washed out much of Thursday’s third-round action at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.

World No. 64 Ramos will face Nadal for the first time after defeating sixth seed Kei Nishikori 6-4, 7-6(4) in one hour and 43 minutes.

The second-seeded Nadal did not have it all his own way against Paire. The Frenchman led 3-1 in the first set before Nadal fought back to level. The Spaniard then reeled off six straight points from 1-2 down in the tie-break to clinch the opener.  He broke down Paire in the second set, winning the final four games from 2-2 to prevail in 87 minutes.

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The 26-year-old Nadal extended his winning run at this ATP World Tour 500 clay-court tournament to 36 successive matches. He has won the titles at three of the five tournaments he’s played this year and finished runner-up at the other two, including at last week’s Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, where he was beaten by Novak Djokovic.

World No. 43 Tommy Robredo recorded his first Top 10 win in two years as he ousted the No. 6-ranked Tomas Berdych 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-3 in the third round. Robredo denied Berdych his 400th career win with victory in two hours and 15 minutes. The Spaniard squandered a 5-1 lead in the second set, but edged Berdych in the ensuing tie-break and an early break in the third set put the 30 year old on the track to victory.

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Robredo goes on to challenge fifth seed Milos Raonic, who did not lose serve in a 6-2, 7-6(6) victory over qualifier Ernests Gulbis. The Canadian reached the semi-finals in Barcelona last year (l. to Ferrer).

Philipp Kohlschreiber resumed his third-round match with Martin Klizan at 4-3 in the third set, and went on to beat the 11th seed 1-6, 7-6(2), 7-6(5). The German was then granted a place in the semi-finals as his next opponent, Thomaz Bellucci, withdrew before their match with an abdominal injury.

Defending Doubles Champions Fall
Two Spanish teams advanced to the doubles semi-finals. David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco eliminated last year's titlists Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski 7-5, 7-6(3), while second-seeded Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez dismissed Juan Monaco and Kei Nishikori 6-2, 6-3.

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© Manuel Queimadelos


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