Nadal rolls into Rio quarter-finals

  • AFP, Rio De Janeiro
  • |
  • Updated: Feb 21, 2014 10:20 IST

World number one Rafael Nadal stormed into the quarter-finals of the $1.3 million ATP Rio Open on Thursday by hammering Spanish compatriot Albert Montanes 6-1, 6-2.

Nadal, in his first event since losing last month's Australian Open final, needed only 74 minutes to book a last-eight date against the winner of a later match between Portugal's 48th-ranked Joao Sousa and 87th-rated Spaniard Albert Ramos.

Nadal broke Montanes three times in each set while surrendering his lone service break in the second set as he improved to 3-0 all-time against his countryman, having yet to lose more than three games in any set against him.

A nagging back injury that has hindered Nadal since his Melbourne loss to Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka forced the 13-time Grand Slam champion to skip Buenos Aires last week.

That left his comeback for Rio, where he starts a clay-court season that he hopes will culminate in a ninth career French Open crown.

 

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