ATP Barcelona Open: Rafael Nadal starts busy Friday with straight-sets victory
Last Updated: 26/04/13 5:46pm
World number five Rafael Nadal beat Frenchman Benoit Paire in straight sets on Friday to book a quarter-final place at the Barcelona Open.
The 26-year-old triumphed 7-6 6-2 against the 13th seed to progress to the last eight, where he will meet compatriot Albert Ramos later on the same day.
Nadal, bidding for an eighth Barcelona Open title in nine years in Catalunya, managed to negotiate his way past Paire despite a poor start to a match which had been delayed due to bad weather the previous day.
Paire broke the recent Monte Carlo Masters runner-up in the opening game but the 'King of Clay' showed few signs of distress as he fought back to win the set on a tie-break.
Two breaks of serve in the second set were then enough to see Nadal through to the last eight at the Real Club de Tenis.
With rain disrupting the schedule Nadal will now have to play for his place in the semi-finals later on Friday with a second match in the day set to test the Spaniard's fitness.
"Today is going to be a long day and it was good to win in two sets after a bad start," he added.
"We are taking things step by step and this afternoon's opponent is going to be at a very high level so let's see if I can play better than this morning."
German eighth seed Philipp Kohlschreiber also returned to court to finish a match interrupted by the weather the previous day, turning the tables on Martin Klizan for a 1-6 7-6 (7/2) 7-6 (7/5) win.
Kohlschreiber then received a stroke of good fortune as his intended quarter-final opponent Thomaz Bellucci withdrew through injury, sending the left-hander into the first of the semi-final places.