- ATP Tour
Impressive Nadal cruises past Youzhny
Rafael Nadal cruised into the quarter-finals of the Mutua Madrid Open with a commanding 6-2 6-3 third round victory over Russia's Mikhail Youzhny.
World No. 5 Nadal crashed out at this stage last year to fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, but it would not be repeat heartbreak for the 26-year-old as he dismissed opponent Youzhny in less than a hour and a quarter.
Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos and Atletico Madrid star Radamel Falcao were in the Manolo Santana crowd to watch the 2010 champion advance through, as Nadal made light work of the opening set in just over thirty minutes.
Despite both players holding their opening service games in the second, Youzhny squandered saving two break points with a double fault to allow Nadal an early advantage.
The Russian then earned his first break point 48 minutes into the match, but Nadal rallied to save and hold. With Nadal set to break again, a fortuitous error from the line judge gave world No. 31 Youzhny a chance to save; this time he took full advantage to reduce the deficit.
The momentum shifted Youzhny's way as he pushed his opponent into an unforced net error to level, but Nadal responded with an immediate break back as he upped through the gears.
Nadal held to move within one game of victory, meaning that Youzhny was serving to stay in the match. An untimely double fault from the Russian gave Nadal a foothold, and the Spaniard did not disappoint as he worked his way to gain two match points.
And Nadal finished in style, rushing to the net to clip the ball cross-court over the net for the win, setting up a quarter-final with fourth seed David Ferrer - after he beat veteran Tommy Haas.
Elsewhere, there was a three-set victory for Stanislas Wawrinka over Grigor Dimitrov - the man who knocked Novak Djokovic out of the tournament. Wawrinka will now face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the last eight, after he successfully outlasted Fernando Verdasco.