BARCELONA (Reuters) – Rafael Nadal gave a much improved performance to advance into the quarter-finals of the Barcelona Open on Thursday, dispatching Spanish compatriot and crowd favorite David Ferrer 6-3 6-3.
The world number two had produced a scrappy display against Leonardo Mayer on Wednesday, losing a set for the first time in four years at the tournament, but he showed more spark and composure against Ferrer.
Nadal - Ferrer - Game - Month - Madrid
Nadal broke the 37-year-old Ferrer, who will retire from the game next month after the Madrid Open, in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead in the opener but play was halted due to rain with the score at 5-3.
Nadal promptly saw out the set when play resumed and broke Ferrer in the first game of the second but then lost a service game, which made it 2-2.
Mallorcan - Lead - Match - Points - Marginal
The Mallorcan broke again and then took a 5-3 lead, spurning three match points due to two marginal calls which left him visibly annoyed with the line judge.
Nadal finally closed the match out at the fourth opportunity as Ferrer could only find the net.
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