World number three Rafael Nadal beat Kei Nishikori 6-0 2-6 6-2 at the Barcelona Open to set up a quarter-final showdown with Britain’s Cameron Norrie.
Nadal, surprisingly beaten at the quarter-final stage of the Monte Carlo Masters by Andrey Rublev, dominated the first set, but former world number four Nishikori steadied himself behind his forehand to secure two breaks of serve in the second to send the match to a decider.
However, the 20-time Grand Slam winner Nadal, who came into the encounter with an 11-2 record against the 31-year-old Nishikori, secured a double break of his own to seal his progression to the quarter-finals.
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Nadal beats Nishikori to reach the Barcelona Open quarter-finals
“I think I played much better than yesterday; that’s a very important thing for me,” Nadal said after.
The level of positive energy (was) higher, so (I’m) very satisfied.
Nadal, an 11-time winner in Barcelona, faces off against Norrie in the quarter-finals. The Brit progressed after David Goffin retired in the second set after being bageled in the first. The pair have met once before - at the last-32 stage of this year's Australian Open - with Spain's Nadal winning 7-5 6-2 7-5.
Elsewhere, Jannik Sinner beat Roberto Bautista 7-6 6-2, Stefanos Tsitsipas downed Alex de Minaur 7-5 6-3 and Félix Auger-Aliassime beat Denis Shapovalov 6-2 6-3.
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