RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - Former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal reached the Rio Open semi-finals without even hitting a tennis ball on Friday as Aleksandr Dolgopolov withdrew injured from their last-eight tie.
Nadal is playing at the low-key clay-court event in a bid to find his form ahead of a tilt at an unprecedented 10th French Open crown in June.
The 29-year-old has dropped to No. 5 in the world after an injury-hit 2015 and suffered a shock semi-final defeat by Austria's Dominic Thiem in last week's Buenos Aires semi-finals, where he was the defending champion.
The Rio Open's official Twitter account revealed the news of Dolgopolov's injury.
"Dolgopolov was forced to withdraw due to injury. Dolgopolov injury: right shoulder," it said.
Spaniard Nadal will play Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas in the last four on Saturday. Ceuvas beat Federico Delbonis of Argentina 6-4, 7-6(7-4).