ATP Barcelona Open: Rafael Nadal Starts Busy Friday With Straight-Sets Victory

ATP Barcelona Open: Rafael Nadal Starts Busy Friday With Straight-Sets Victory

World number five Rafael Nadal beat Frenchman Benoit Paire in straight sets on Friday to book a quarter-final place at the Barcelona Open.

ATP Barcelona Open: Rafael Nadal Starts Busy Friday With Straight-Sets Victory

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.

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.

"It wasn't brilliant but getting the victory was the most important thing," Nadal told Spanish television.

Storms fell on Thursday when Nadal and Paire were due to take to court meaning the fixture had to be pushed back a day.

With rain disrupting the schedule Nadal will now have to play for his place in the semi-final 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."

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