Tournament favorites Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray both rolled into the quarterfinals of Barcelona on Thursday.
Nadal, who is seeking a 10th Barcelona title, eased past big bomber Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-4.
“It wasn’t a day where I took a lot of free points because the court was very heavy. But I was serving well, at a good speed and changing directions well,” said Nadal who never faced a break point. “I had the chance to hit my forehand after my serve and take control of the rallies, so I’m very happy with how I played.”
Nadal was projected to face Alexander Zverev once again, but the German fell the qualifier Hyung Chung 6-1, 6-4. Since winning Montpellier in February, Zverev has gone just 7-6.
“This is my first quarterfinal at the 500 level, so I’m very excited. I tried to be focused on every single point and stay calm. That was the key,” said the 20-year-old Chung. “When I started playing tennis, I wanted to play Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal, so I’m very excited about tomorrow.”
The bespectacled Chung has never beaten a Top 20 player before (0-10).
After a Bernard Tomic walkover, Andy Murray finally took the court in Barcelona, and the world No. 1 lived up to his ranking taking out Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 6-4.
“I was happy to play today. It was nice to get through and have another match tomorrow,” said Murray who now leads Lopez 11-0. “I didn’t feel so good at the start, but I played good tennis in some of the important moments today.”
Murray will now meet Monte Carlo semifinalist Alberto Ramos-Vinolas who just beat the Scot last week in Monte Carlo.
“I had never played against him before, so now I’ll be a little more aware of his game,” Murray said. “Obviously last week was a frustrating loss, being up 4-0 in the third set, but I’ll hopefully have learned from it and try to play a little differently this time.”
In other quarterfinal play, Dominic Thiem, a winner over Dan Evans, will face lucky loser Yuichi Sugita and 20-year-old Karen Khachanov impressed with his first Top 10 win over David Goffin to set up a battle with Horacio Zeballos.
Sugita has wins this week over Richard Gasquet and today Pablo Carreno Busta.
FRIDAY BARCELONA SCHEDULE
PISTA RAFA NADAL start 12:30 pm
 D. Thiem (AUT) vs [LL] Y. Sugita (JPN)
Not Before 14:00
 [WC] A. Murray (GBR) vs  A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP)
[Q] H. Chung (KOR) vs  R. Nadal (ESP)
K. Khachanov (RUS) vs H. Zeballos (ARG)
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