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Nadal Avoids Murray's Fate In Battling Win; Monfils Ousts Gasquet

Doha, Qatar

Nadal© AFP/Getty ImagesRafael Nadal will play Ernests Gulbis in the Doha quarter-finals.

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal, who finished runner-up four years ago at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, will play seventh seed Ernests Gulbis in the Doha quarter-finals.

Nadal was forced to work hard to beat Tobias Kamke 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-3 on Wednesday night.

"I spent a lot of time on court and I won," he said. "That's the very important thing. I think I played much better today than yesterday. The opponent played great; played very aggressive."

Nadal battled back from 1-4 in the second set, but failed to convert three break points on Kamke serve at 5-5, 0/40. The German took a 5-0 lead in the tie-break, which Nadal could not claw back.

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Nadal avoided the fate of Andy Murray, the 2008-2009 Doha champion, who made a second round exit earlier in the day.

Gulbis beat Lukasz Kubot 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. Nadal leads Gulbis 6-0 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

"He's a player you don't want to meet because he hits every ball very hard with a very strong serve, first and second serve," Nadal said of Gulbis. "Then he hits every ball very, very, very fast from the baseline, forehand/backhand, so he's a difficult player to play against." 

Defending champion Richard Gasquet became the fifth seeded player to bow out on Wednesday, with a 6-2, 7-5 loss to fellow Frenchman Gael Monfils in the last match on centre court. Monfils closed out the victory in 63 minutes, taking a 5-4 lead in their FedEx ATP Head2Head.

Gasquet had won the Doha title last year with victory over Nikolay Davydenko. Monfils is a two-time Doha finalist; he finished runner-up to Roger Federer in 2006 and to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2012.

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Nadal, Murray Beaten In Doubles Action
Following their singles matches, Nadal and Murray both returned to the courts for doubles action and lost their quarter-final matches. Nadal, partnering fellow Spaniard Francisco Roig, lost to third seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo 6-4, 7-6(1). Murray, playing with Serbian Nenad Zimonjic, fell to top seeds Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares 7-6(5), 6-4. 

In the other half of the doubles draw, Germans Christopher Kas and Philipp Kohlschreiber knocked out No. 4 seeds Treat Huey and Dominic Inglot 7-6(2), 7-5. They will face Tomas Berdych and Jan Hajek for a place in the final. The Czechs rallied for a 2-6, 6-3, 10-4 win over Oliver Marach and Florin Mergea.

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