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Nadal continues clay-court dominance

  • Story Highlights
  • Rafael Nadal through to the quarterfinals of the Barcelona Open on Thursday
  • The holder defeated close friend and fellow-Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-4 6-3
  • Second seed David Ferrer labored before finally overcoming Nicolas Lapentti
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BARCELONA, Spain -- Rafael Nadal's clay-court supremecy continued on Thursday, with the Spaniard winning his 100th match from 101 on the surface to reach the quarterfinals of the Barcelona Open.

Nadal made it 100 victories from 101 clay-court matches to reach the last eight in Barcelona.

Defending champion Nadal worked hard for one hour, 45 minutes to beat close friend and 16th seed Feliciano Lopez 6-4 6-3.

The three-time Roland Garros champion has not been beaten on his favored surface since starting in the Monte Carlo first round three years ago. His lone loss during his run of form came in the Hamburg final last spring to rival Roger Federer, who swept a 6-0 fifth set.

"I'm happier to be in the quarterfinals in Barcelona, I'm not thinking about the victories," said the world number two, who faces a fast turnaround when he meets Juan Ignacio Chela in Friday's last eight match.

"This is one of my favorite events and playing Feliciano is always tough," said Nadal, who had his left shoulder taped after complaining of pain in recent days.

Nadal never faced a break point in a contest in which the first three games took 21 minutes to complete including a third game with eight deuces and three break points saved by Lopez.

However, Nadal is treading a fine line between winning while not running out of steam prior to his run at a fourth straight trophy in Paris from May 25.

He faces title defences here and in Rome before the French Open after winning his fourth straight title in Monte Carlo against Federer last weekend.

Spanish second seed David Ferrer labored before finally overcoming persistent Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuador 4-6 6-4 6-3, taking two-and-a-half hours to get the job done.

Compatriot Tommy Robredo, the sixth-seeded champion from 2004, ended the run of Argentine Guillermo Canas 6-1 7-5, while Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka sprang a surprise on erratic Argentine third seed David Nalbandian, going through 6-3 6-1.

Albert Montanes joined his mates in the Spanish Armada, getting past tough Russian qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3 3-6 6-3 and next plays Wawrinka. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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