RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - Rafael Nadal took another step closer to a double gold medal haul at the Rio Olympics on Friday (Aug 12) when he quelled the fierce resistance of Brazilian number one Thomaz Bellucci to reach the men's singles semi-finals.
The third seed triumphed 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 to secure a sixth win in six matches against his fellow left-hander who was carried to a shock first set success by the raucous centre court crowd who were in a carnival mood.
Nadal, the 2008 singles champion, goes on to face either Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina or Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut for a place in Sunday's gold medal match.
Later on Friday, he will join childhood friend Marc Lopez to face Romania's Florin Mergea and Horia Tecau in the men's doubles final.
Victory will allow Nadal to join Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Nicolas Massu as the only players to have won gold in singles and doubles at an Olympics.