Rafael Nadal and Kei Nishikori cruised through their third-round matches at the Barcelona Open on Thursday.
Nishikori, who has won the last two editions of the tournament, and eight-time champion Nadal racked up straight-sets victories over Jeremy Chardy and Albert Montanes respectively.
Revenge will now be on Nadal’s mind after a 6-2 6-2 demolition of Montanes, with Fabio Fognini waiting in the quarter-finals.
A third-round defeat to Fognini last year was Nadal’s worst showing on the Catalan clay in 12 years. The Italian reached the last eight with a 6-3 6-2 win over Viktor Troicki.
Nishikori extended his winning streak in Barcelona to 12 matches with a 6-3 7-5 success over Chardy.
Playing on clay for the first time this season, Nishikori rarely looked in trouble against his French opponent, save for a late wobble which left him needing to round off the contest with his second match point.
Alexandr Dolgopolov is the next to take on Nishikori after a 6-4 7-5 win over Karen Khachanov.
Benoit Paire (6) beat Pablo Cuevas (9) 6-2 6-4 in a meeting of seeded players to book a quarter-final with Malek Jaziri, a winner against Alexander Zverev. Andrey Kuznetsov (16) and Philipp Kohlschreiber (10) will meet in the other quarter-final after victories on Thursday.
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