Relentless Nadal Sweeps Into Barcelona QFs
10-time champion to next challenge Klizan
Nadal was gifted his first break point opportunity at 1-2, when Garcia-Lopez hit a double fault. Nadal then clinched the break with a drop shot winner and broke once again in the sixth game, as Garcia-Lopez won only two of his first-service points in the 33-minute opener.
Nadal won nine straight games from 1-1 in the first set to 4-0 in the second set against Garcia-Lopez in their sixth FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting (Nadal leads 5-1). Garcia-Lopez, who became aggressive to recoup one service break in a run of three games, saved one match point with a crosscourt backhand winner at 3-5. But Nadal soon earned his ninth clay-court match win of 2018.
Earlier in the day, Klizan beat fellow left-handed and No. 12 seed Feliciano Lopez of Spain 6-1, 6-4 to reach his first ATP World Tour quarter-final since May 2017 at the BMW Open by FWU (l. to Chung).
Last week, 31-year-old Nadal lifted his 11th trophy at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters (d. Nishikori).
In other action, fourth seed David Goffin showed his resiliency to reach the Barcelona quarter-finals for the first time. The Belgian improved to 4-1 against Russian Karen Khachanov in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series with 2-6, 7-6(2), 6-0 victory. Khachanov had beaten Goffin in the same round 12 months ago.
Last year, Goffin led the ATP World Tour with 14 comebacks from one set down and with a deciding-set record of 22-6. He will next meet Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut, who beat countryman and Marrakech champion Pablo Andujar 6-4, 6-1 in 78 minutes.
Marach Records Milestone Doubles Win
Oliver Marach recorded the 350th doubles match win of his career (350-266) on Thursday when he teamed up with Mate Pavic to defeat Spanish wild cards Roberto Carballes Baena and Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-2, 5-7, 13-11 in the first round. The Austrian-Croatian team saved two match points at 8/9 and 9/10 in the Match tie-break.