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Nadal makes it 100 wins out of 101 on clay
May 02, 2008 13:58 IST
Rafael Nadal [Images] took his remarkable record to 100 wins in his last 101 matches on clay by beating fellow-Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 6-3 on Thursday to reach the Barcelona Open quarter-finals.
The top seed, chasing his fourth consecutive title here, appeared unaffected by strapping on his left shoulder as he eased through.
Nadal's run of victories on clay dates back to his first Monte Carlo title in 2005, with his only defeat on the surface in that time coming against world number one Roger Federer [Images] in the final of the Hamburg Masters last May.
"It's nice but I am more happy to be in the Barcelona quarter-finals," said Nadal in a courtside interview. "It's one of my favourite tournaments.
"It was a difficult match with lots of long service games so I am happy to get through."
After missing three break-point chances at 1-1, Nadal broke serve in the fifth game.
The world number two then broke twice more in the second set to line up a meeting with Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela, who beat Latvian Ernests Gulbis 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Second seed David Ferrer of Spain came through a gruelling 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 struggle with Nicolas Lapentti while Argentine third seed David Nalbandian was destroyed 6-3, 6-1 by Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka.
Nalbandian led 3-1 before Wawrinka came roaring back to record his fifth successive win over the Argentine.
"He started very well but I always try to get as many balls back as possible to keep the pressure on him," said Wawrinka, who next plays Spaniard Albert Montanes.
Ferrer looked on course for a straightforward win over Lapentti when he went 3-0 up in the first set.
In the end, though, it took him two hours 31 minutes to wear down the Ecuadorian.
Ferrer now meets Spanish sixth seed Tommy Robredo, who defied a second-set fightback by last year's runner-up Guillermo Canas of Argentina to win 6-1, 7-5.
German Denis Gremelmayr came from 3-0 down to oust Russian Dmitry Tursunov [Images] 6-4 6-0, setting up a match with Spaniard Nicolas Almagro or Croatian Mario Ancic.