Rafael Nadal will be a busy man Friday in Barcelona. Nadal, who has won 35 straight matches and the last seven titles at the event, will have to win two matches tomorrow to stay alive in the tournament.
Because of rains on Thursday, Nadal’s match against Benoit Paire was rescheduled to tomorrow. If Rafa wins and the forecast does improve – which it’s not suppose to – he’ll face the winner of the Albert Ramos-Kei Nishikori match in the quarters later in the afternoon.
Before the weather hit, Nicolas Almagro, Juan Monaco and Tomaz Bellucci all advanced.
In Bucharest, Serbs Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki are in the quarters along with Gilles Simon and Florian Mayer.
On the WTA, the stars are in Stuttgart where new Porsche spokeswoman Maria Sharapova needed 3 hours, 9 minutes to outlast Lucia Safarova 6-4, 6-7, 6-3.
“I knew today was going to be difficult – I was playing a good opponent with tremendous results on clay, and in general she’s not an easy opponent to play against,” the world No. 2 Sharapova said. “I needed to be ready. And there were some things I was disappointed with – I don’t think I took advantage of some of the shorter serves she hit, especially on her second serve – that’s something I’ll definitely be working on.
“But no matter how long it took today, I’m happy I got myself through this match.”
In the quarters tomorrow Sharapova meets fellow starlet Ana Ivanovic, Li Na faces Petra Kvitova and Germans Angelique Kerber and Sabine Lisicki are also in action.
No. 4 seed and former French Open finalist Sara Errani was upset by Bethanie Mattek-Sands who now gets Lisicki. Seeds Sam Stosur (Jankovic) and Caroline Wozniacki lost earlier in the week.
BARCELONA FRIDAY SCHEDULE
PISTA CENTRAL start 10:30
 B Paire (FRA) vs  R Nadal (ESP) 00
T Robredo (ESP) vs  T Berdych (CZE)
 N Almagro (ESP) vs  J Monaco (ARG)
 K Nishikori (JPN) or A Ramos (ESP) vs  B Paire (FRA) or  R Nadal (ESP)
J Monaco (ARG) / K Nishikori (JPN) vs  M Granollers (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) – After Suitable rest
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