Nadal breezes past Bolelli into Madrid quarters

Thu May 7, 2015 5:28pm EDT
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MADRID (Reuters) - Local hero Rafa Nadal raced into the last eight of the Madrid Open when he brushed aside unseeded Italian Simone Bolelli 6-2 6-2 on Thursday to set up a quarter-final clash against Bulgarian 10th seed Grigor Dimitrov.

Chasing a third straight title at the clay Masters event in the Spanish capital, and a fifth overall, third seed Nadal needed little more than an hour to see off an outclassed Bolelli, saving both break points he faced on his serve.

The Majorcan has a good chance of claiming another Madrid crown as world number one Novak Djokovic pulled out to rest and Roger Federer, who took over from the Serb as the top seed, fell to Australian Nick Kyrgios in the second round on Wednesday.

After struggles with injury and illness, Nadal is attempting to rediscover his best form on his favored surface before he makes a bid for a record-extending 10th French Open singles title in Paris starting at the end of the month.

He won a 46th career clay title in Buenos Aires in February and is just three shy of the record of 49 held by Guillermo Vilas, but fell short at subsequent clay tournaments in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, two events he has won multiple times.

Dimitrov earlier edged eighth-seeded Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka, who Nadal beat in the 2013 Madrid final, 7-6(5) 3-6 6-3 and the Spaniard said he was expecting a tough contest even though he has beaten the Bulgarian in all five of their previous meetings, including twice on clay.

"Yeah, everything worries me about Dimitrov," Nadal told a news conference.

"He's a very good player. He serves well, very good forehand. Backhand, too. Slice also.

"He moves very well and has good footwork. He is a very complicated player. All round. Only way to beat him is to play at really high level.   Continued...

Rafael Nadal of Spain returns the ball to Simone Bolelli of Italy during their match at the Madrid Open tennis tournament in Madrid, Spain, May 7, 2015. REUTERS/Juan Medina