More woe for Djokovic as French Open looms


World No. 1 Nadal, who also had a bye to the second round, packed out the main court at the Real Club de Tenis in Barcelona which is named after him.

Jaziri makes Dimitrov work for his Barcelona quarter-final spot; Nadal eases past compatriot World number five Grigor Dimitrov survived an almighty scare against outsider Malek Jaziri yesterday to edge into the Barcelona Open quarter-finals beating the Tunisian 7-5 3-6 7-6 (8) following a nail-biting tiebreak.

Novak Djokovic reacts during his match against Martin Klizan at the Barcelona Open on April 25, 2018.

Djokovic is trying to return to form after a lingering right elbow injury.

BC-TEN-Barcelona Open, 2nd Ld-Writethru, 282 Nadal cruises into Barcelona Open quarterfinalsAP Photo MF133, MF134, MF135, MF137, MF125, MF120, MF114, MF112, MF112, MF109, MF107Eds: Updates with more results, new photo links.

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World No 12 Djokovic got off to a slow start against Klizan but rebounded to force a third set. He was then broken while trailing 4-3, allowing the qualifier to serve out for the victory. "How long? I don't know but I feel like in Monte-Carlo already, I was putting some good matches together".

"The first game here after Monte Carlo is always hard but I soon found my rhythm", Nadal told reporters. I got more popular especially in my country and nearly every match I played I was as a favourite. He lost just 21 games on the way to his 11 title at the Principality and has now switched his attention to the Barcelona Open, where he has progressed to the last 16.

Nadal's victory was his 16th in succession on the dirt, while he extended his record of consecutive sets won on this surface to 40. He won the match 6-4, 6-4 in a match that almost lasted two hours.

The top seed, who has won the tournament 10 times, will meet Slovak Martin Klizan, who had dumped Novak Djokovic out in the second round, on Friday after powering past Garcia-Lopez in a quick-fire first set.

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