Rio Open: Rafael Nadal ousts Nicolas Almagro

| Friday, February 19, 2016 - 18:49
First Published |
Rafael Nadal

The World No. 5 was mostly able to dictate play on Guga Kuerten Court

Rio de Janeiro: Spain's Rafael Nadal struggled to put away countryman Nicolas Almagro but eventually secured a 6-3, 7-5 second-round victory at the Rio Open to set up a quarterfinal clash against the Ukraine's Alexandr Dolgopolov.
The top-seeded Nadal needed one hour and 40 minutes to wrap up a second consecutive straight-set win at this clay-court tournament on Thursday, part of the ATP Tour's South American swing, reports EFE.
The World No. 5, who is trying to bounce back after a disappointing season in which he did not win any of tennis' biggest events, was mostly able to dictate play on Guga Kuerten Court.
(Also Read: Thiago Monteiro shocks Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at ATP Rio Open
Nadal was shaky toward the end of the contest, however, losing his serve twice in a row, including squandering a chance to serve out the victory at 5-4 and failing to convert two match points.
But Almagro was far less effective, losing his final three service games and winning only 59 percent of his first-serve points for the match, compared to 70 percent for Nadal.
Dolgopolov, Nadal's opponent in Friday's quarterfinals, rallied Thursday to defeat Spain's Iñigo Cervantes 3-6, 6-0, 6-3.
The eighth-seeded Dolgopolov has defeated Nadal in their past two matches, although the Spaniard holds a 5-2 career edge and won their only meeting in Rio de Janeiro, a straight-set victory in the 2014 final.

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