Nadal, Ferrer move into Madrid Masters semis|
Madrid, Spain (SportsNetwork.com) - Spanish hero and three-time champion
Rafael Nadal and his fellow countryman David Ferrer were a pair of easy
quarterfinal winners Friday at the $5 million Madrid Open, an ATP Masters 1000
The world No. 1 superstar Nadal blew past sixth-seeded Czech slugger Tomas
Berdych 6-4, 6-2 on the red clay at the Magic Box.
Nadal, who also beat last week's Portugal Open runner-up Berdych in the 2010
Wimbledon finale, has now won 17 straight matches in their lopsided lifetime
"It was a match with a lot of intensity, and perhaps it was my toughest match
in the tournament," said Nadal. "I knew that I had to go a step forward
[level-wise]. I think that I did it pretty well. I played pretty well during a
long time. To make it to the semi-finals for first time in the clay season,
here in Madrid, is great news for me."
Nadal, who failed to title in his last two clay court events in Monte Carlo
and Barcelona, beat Swiss Stan Wawrinka in last year's final in
In addition to his titles in 2005, 2010 and last year, the record 26-time
Masters champion Nadal was also a runner-up in the Spanish capital in 2009 and
The reigning French and U.S. Open titlist will face fellow Spaniard Roberto
Bautista Agut in Saturday's semifinals. The rising Bautista Agut handled
Colombian qualifier Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 6-4 at this Roland Garros tune-up
and will now appear in his first-ever Masters semi.
Meanwhile, a fifth-seeded Ferrer, who was last year's French Open runner-up to
Nadal, got past talented Latvian Ernests Gulbis 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 on Day 6.
Tenth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan awaits Ferrer in the semifinals after
claiming a 6-4, 6-4 triumph over Spaniard Feliciano Lopez in Friday's
The victory will vault Nishikori into the top 10 in the Emirates ATP rankings
when they are released Monday, making the 24-year-old the first player from
Japan to move into the top 10 and the first Asian player since Thailand's
Paradorn Srichaphan on March 29, 2004.
05/09 18:07:59 ET