Seven-time winner Rafael Nadal advanced to the Barcelona Open quarterfinals by beating Benoit Paire of France 7-6 (2),6-2 on Friday. Paire broke Nadals first service game,but when the fifth-ranked Spaniard found his rhythm he had little trouble extending his winning streak on the Real Club de Tenis red clay to 36 straight matches.
The match was originally scheduled for Thursday but was postponed because of rain. If the weather holds up,Nadal will play Albert Ramos later Friday. He beat Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-4,7-6 (4).
Also,Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany defeated Martin Klizan of Slovakia 1-6,7-6 (2),7-6 (5). Kohlschreiber advanced to the semifinals after Thomaz Bellucci withdrew before their quarterfinal.
Nadal reached five straight finals heading into Barcelona,but lost to Novak Djokovic last weekend. That ended his eight-year winning run at Monte Carlo.
Nadal had a sluggish start and Paire hit a winner off one of his second serves to get the early advantage. After squandering three break points in Paires first service game,Nadal broke back to pull even at 3-3 with defensive slices that Paire sent long.
Nadals steady ground game forced Paire to make three errors in the tiebreaker. He took control of the second set when he broke Paire from love to go ahead 3-2 after the Frenchmans serve failed him and he hit consecutive double-faults. Paire had a chance to break back in the next game,but he hit long and slammed his racket into the ground. Nadal went on to take the game and sealed the match when Paires drop shot fell well short.