Rafael Nadal Advances To Barcelona Open Quarter-Finals


Top-seeded Rafael Nadal advanced to the quarterfinals of the Barcelona Open after beating Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-0, 2-6, 6-2 in Spain.

The 11-time Barcelona champion saved 11 of 13 break points and eliminated Nishikori in two hours and 19 minutes. Nadal’s next opponent will be Cameron Norrie, who was leading 6-0, 3-5 when 8th-seed David Goffin retired (right leg).

“Kei [Nishikori] is an amazing player,” Nadal said in his post-match interview. “So, it’s an important victory for me. He played great I think after that first set and I started playing very well. 

But, it’s true that he [made] things a little bit easier at the beginning. Later he increased a lot the level [of his play], so it was very tough.”

Rafael Nadal (L) shakes hands with Kei Nishikori (R) during match at the Barcelona Open in Spain.

“But I found a way to be through. I think I played much better than yesterday,” Nadal added. “That’s a very important thing for me, and the level of positive energy has been higher. So, [I’m] very satisfied.”

3rd-seed Andrey Rublev outlasted Albert Ramos-Violas in a 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-4 victory, while 2nd-seed Stefanos Tsitsipas was a 7-5, 6-3 winner against 14th-seed Alex De Minaur.

In an all-Canadian clash, 10th-seed Felix Auger-Aliassime defeated 7th-seed Denis Shapovalov 6-2, 6-3, while 11th-seed Jannik Sinner beat 5th-seed Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (9), 6-2.

Also advancing were 4th-seed Diego Schwartzman and 6th-seed Pablo Carreno-Busta.

Chidi Nwoke.

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