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Nadal Rolls Into QFs; Raonic Records 100th Hard-Court Win

Miami, U.S.A.

Nadal Miami© Getty ImagesRafael Nadal is the third player to win 20 matches this season.

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal completed a successful Tuesday for the ATP’s “Big Four” at the Sony Open Tennis in Miami, joining Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Roger Federer in the quarter-finals with victory over No. 14 seed Fabio Fognini in the night session.

The three-time Miami finalist rolled to his fourth win against Fognini after breaking open a 4-0 lead to start the fourth-round match. He went four for eight on his break point chances and dropped just three points on serve to clinch the 6-2, 6-2 win in 62 minutes.

"I think I was very focused and solid with my serve," said Nadal. "That's very important thing for me and my game when I am playing on hard."

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Nadal became the third player to reach 20 match wins in 2014, behind Federer and Marin Cilic. Fognini, who finished the match with 35 unforced errors, dropped to a 19-6 season mark.

Nadal’s quest for a first Sony Open Tennis title will continue against Canada’s Milos Raonic, who reached the Miami quarter-finals for the first time with a milestone win - his 100th on hard courts.

“I have to try to impose on [him],” said Raonic, looking ahead. “When he gets ahead in the points he's difficult to keep up with. I have to get ahead in the points early and stay ahead. And obviously serving, as well, is going to be key.”

Raonic had not faced a break point going into the fourth-round match, but fought off all eight of Benjamin Becker’s chances for the 6-3, 6-4 victory Tuesday. Becker had been the first lucky loser to reach the Round of 16 since Ivan Ljubicic, Raonic’s current coach, in 2001.

Raonic also reached the quarter-finals two weeks ago at the BNP Paribas Open (l. to Dolgopolov), his first tournament since being sidelined with a left ankle injury at the Australian Open.

Nadal has not dropped a set against the 23-year-old Raonic in their four encounters. The pair last met in August, when they faced off for the Coupe Rogers title in Montreal.

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