Even light rain couldn’t derail Rafael Nadal as he took down the retiring David Ferrer 6-3, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals today in Barcelona.
After a shaky opening round against Leonardo Mayer, Nadal was in more in tune today against his popular countryman.
“Big difference. It was a tough match in all ways yesterday. Today was a different energy, a different motivation. In general terms, for me, I needed to play with a different attitude to make a step forward, and that’s what I did today,” Nadal said.
Ferrer, who will officially retire in Madrid, was given a warm applause as he left the court.
“He deserves much more. It has been an emotional day,” Nadal said. “Happy of course for the victory but very sad to say goodbye to one good friend and one friend we shared all of these things… during our careers. It was a tough moment, but I really hope that he’s very happy with this decision, and he’s able to do whatever he wants.
Nadal, who is now 60-3 in Barcelona, will now face Jan-Lennard Struff who upset No. 8 and 2018 runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
Dominic Thiem also advanced beating Jaume Munar 7-5, 6-1. Guido Pella is next for the Austrian.
Daniil Medvedev kept his strong 2019 going with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Mackenzie McDonald. He’ll now get lucky loser Nicolas Jarry who ousted Grigor Dimitrov 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(2).
Two-time tournament champion Kei Nishikori rolled past Canadian teen Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-1, 6-3. Roberto Carballes Baena, who beat Chile’s Cristian Garin, awaits tomorrow.
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