Tennis: Nadal into quarter-finals, aiming for 10th title at Barcelona

Nadal celebrates his victory.
Nadal celebrates his victory.PHOTO: AFP

BARCELONA (AFP) - Third seed Rafael Nadal remains on course for a 10th Barcelona Open title, advancing to the quarter finals with a routine 6-3, 6-4 victory over Kevin Anderson.

It was Nadal’s 50th victory at the tournament, and he never looked in danger against the world number 66, forcing 10 break points throughout the match.

However, Nadal was only able to take two of them against the big-serving South African. Rain throughout the morning meant the newly renamed Rafa Nadal Court was slower than usual, and he was hoping for better weather when he takes on South Korean qualifier Hyeon Chung in the last eight on Friday (April 28).

“They weren’t the best conditions for me. I much prefer it when the ball is doing more,” Nadal said. “It wasn’t easy. He’s a really tall player who hits the ball well in comfortable positions. I tried to make him take the ball on the move in order to make him less comfy.”

British number two Dan Evans’ campaign came to an end against Austria’s Dominic Thiem, 7-6, 6-2. Thiem will face Yuichi Sugita in the quarters after the Japanese knocked out home favourite Pablo Carreno Busta.

Elsewhere, world number one Andy Murray is in action on Thursday afternoon, taking on Feliciano Lopez.