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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.

Watch Robredo Hot Shot

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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