Nadal Cruises To 30th Straight Barcelona Win, Almagro Meets Raonic Thursday; Retirements Hit WTA Stuttgart
Despite a troubled left knee, Rafael Nadal blitzed countryman Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-1, 6-2 in the second round at Barcelona Wednesday. Nadal, a six time champion at Barcelona, improved his win straight at the tournament to 30, and overall on clay to 17.
”My knee bothered me a little, but that’s normal. In 15 days, the discomfort isn’t going to go away, but it doesn’t keep you from playing so it’s not a problem,” Nadal told the AP.
Of course Nadal’s left knee kept him from playing the Miami semifinals last month against Andy Murray.
On Thursday Nadal meets the little known Colombian qualifier Robert Farah who won his first career ATP match earlier in the week.
Nadal’s countrymen David Ferrer breezed past Filip Krajonovic, Feliciano Lopez topped Flavio Cipolla and Albert Montanes saved four match points in a win over Bernard Tomic.
Second seeded Andy Murray returns tomorrow against Farah’s countryman Santiago Giraldo. And in all-Top 25 matchup Milos Raonic battles Nicolas Almagro.
At the WTA Stuttgart event, two retirements marred the proceedings. Maria Sharapova advanced with Alize Cornet retired with a right shoulder injury down 6-3, 1-0. Then Jelena Jankovic had to withdraw with a lower back injury to Caroline Wozniacki trailing by the same score.
“You never want matches to end that way,” Sharapova said. “But my opponent today had already played four matches to get here and was obviously feeling it and having a bit of a problem with the shoulder. At this stage, a few weeks before Roland Garros in her home country, it’s important for her to get well.”
On Thursday, former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone takes on the third-seeded Petra Kvitova and four promising German women are in action as Andrea Petkovic takes on top seed Victoria Azarenka, Julia Goerges battles Sam Stosur, surging Angelique Kerber clashes with Wozniacki and Mona Barthel, who upset Ana Ivanovic Tuesday, matches up with Marion Bartoli.
PISTA CENTRAL start 11:00 am
 N Almagro (ESP) vs  M Raonic (CAN)
Not Before 1:30 PM
S Giraldo (COL) vs  A Murray (GBR)
 R Nadal (ESP) vs [Q] R Farah (COL)
A Montanes (ESP) vs  D Ferrer (ESP)
Not Before 5:00 PM
 F Verdasco (ESP) vs  K Anderson (RSA)
Also Check Out:
Nadal Wins Two In Barcelona, Sets Up Showdown With Raonic; Tipsarevic Continues To Struggle; Sharapova Into Stuttgart SFs
Nadal, Ferrer Advance, Murray Meets Raonic In Barcelona; Wozniacki Hammered In Stuttgart
Nadal Might Have To Play Two On Friday In Rainy Barcelona; Sharapova Needs 3 Hours To Win Stuttgart
Nadal’s Clay Campaign Shifts To Spain, Murray Wins; Wozniacki Faces Jankovic In Stuttgart
Nadal Seeks 8th Barcelona Title Against Almagro; Sharapova Eyes Stuttgart Repeat