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Nadal cruises into Barcelona quarters
The Spaniard was joined in the last eight by compatriots David Ferrer, Nicolas Almagro, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Feliciano Lopez.
Barcelona: World number one Rafa Nadal cruised into the Barcelona Open quarter-finals with a 6-3 6-1 victory over unseeded Colombian Santiago Giraldo on Thursday to set up a last-eight clash against Gael Monfils.
The Spanish top seed, who won a seventh straight Monte Carlo Masters crown on his favoured clay surface on Sunday, was joined in the last eight by compatriots David Ferrer, Nicolas Almagro, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Feliciano Lopez.
Almagro, the number eight seed, made sure he will break into the top 10 for the first time when the rankings are updated on Monday with a 7-6 6-3 win against former world number three Nikolay Davydenko.
Fourth seed Ferrer, beaten by Nadal in the Monte Carlo final, eased through with a 6-3 6-2 success against Victor Hanescu of Romania, former world number one Ferrero edged Italian qualifier Simone Vagnozzi 7-6 4-6 6-4 and Lopez beat Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-4 7-6.
Ferrer nexts meet Austrian Juergen Melzer, the sixth seed, who had to come from a set down to get past 11th seed Albert Montanes, another Spaniard, 6-7 6-3 6-2.
In windy conditions in the Catalan capital, Nadal took his record on the red dust since 2005 to 183 wins and only six defeats as he bids for a sixth Barcelona title in seven years.
"Beating Giraldo 6-3 6-1 is good news because he can hit winners from anywhere on the court," the Wimbledon, French Open and U.S. Open champion said in an interview with Spanish TV.
Looking ahead to Friday's clash with seventh seed Monfils, who beat ninth-seeded compatriot Richard Gasquet 6-4 7-6 on Thursday, the Mallorca-born 24-year-old added: "It's going to be a very tough match. Monfils is one of those players who can attack as well as defend and you never know how he is going to come out and play.
"He'll probably have to come out and attack but I'll try to dominate the points with my drives."
Nadal, who has won 31 matches in a row on clay since losing to Robin Soderling in the fourth round at Roland Garros in 2009, missed last year's Barcelona Open because of injury.
His Davis Cup team mate Lopez will play Croat Ivan Dodig on Friday for a place in the last four, with Almagro meeting Ferrero. Dodig upset 15th seed Milos Raonic of Canada 7-6 4-6 6-3 in the final match of the day.