Friday, October 7, 2011

Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal advanced to quarterfinals at Japan Open

TOKYO -- Rafael Nadal advanced to the quarterfinals of the Japan Open with a 7-5, 6-3 victory Thursday over Milos Raonic of Canada. "I was happy with almost everything today," Nadal said. "I was focused with... my serves without mistakes. I lost very few points on my serve in the last set." In other matches, second-seeded Andy Murray of Britain overwhelmed American Alex Bogomolov Jr. 6-1, 6-2. Murray will face David Nalbandian in the quarterfinals, after the Argentine beat Ivan Dodig of Croatia 7-6 (2), 6-2. Trailing 6-5 and serving at 30-30 in the 12th game of the first set, Raonic double-faulted to hand Nadal set point. The Canadian then hit a forehand long to give the Spaniard the set.

In the second set, Nadal broke the big-serving Raonic in the sixth game to go up 4-2, then stayed on serve and closed out the contest in 1 hour, 30 minutes.Nadal, the defending champion, got in 77 percent of his first serves in the victory and Raonic was not able to gain a single break point against the 10-time Grand Slam champion. Raonic's powerful forehand was impressive, but he committed several unforced errors. "The top players do a few things better than the others," Nadal said. "The matches are decided by very few points. It is on these points where the top players play better."

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