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Rafa made to work

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:26

Two hours and 25 minutes after Rafael Nadal stepped onto court for his second round match against 478-ranked wild card Grigor Dimitrov, the world No.1 eventually prevailed 7-5, 3-6, 6-2.

Bulgarian Dimitrov, who dispatched Tomas Berdych in the opening round, seemed totally unfazed by the occasion. However, Nadals superior ability ultimately shone through, taking the Spaniard through to the last eight.

Nadal faces Frenchman and seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who ousted Russian Dmitry Tursunov 7-6, 6-2. This will be Tsongas fifth quarter-final appearance this season.

There was more French success at the ATP World Tour 500 tournament too, as Marc Gicquel rallied past fellow countryman Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4, 6-3.

Last weeks runner-up in Zagreb, Mario Ancic, also continued his fine form edging past fourth seed Gilles Simon 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. The world No.28 will now play Russian Mikhail Youzhny.

At the Brasil Open in Costa do Sauipe the shock of the day came from defending champion Spaniard Nicolas Almagro, who fell to Portugals Frederico Gil 7-6, 7-6.

However, Spains Tommy Robredo was more successful, securing a 6-2, 6-2 win over Fabio Fognini of Italy and in turn taking a spot in the quarter-finals. His opponent will be in the form of fourth seed Jose Acasuso.

Meanwhile, the SAP Open in California saw a strong American contingent, with Andy Roddick joining four of his countrymen as second round winners; James Blake, Sam Querrey, Mardy Fish and qualifier Todd Widom are all through to the last eight.

Argentine Juan Martin del Potro and German Tommy Haas are also through to the quarter-finals of the SAP Open, with wins over Kei Nishikori and Christophe Rochus, respectively.

On the womens circuit, it was the French ladies who took centre stage in Paris. Fresh from Fed Cup defeat last week, they certainly bounced back at the Open GDF SUEZ, one of the tours Premier tournaments.

Alize Cornet was the first to advance with a three set victory over Daniela Hantuchova, while eighth seed Amelie Mauresmo crushed Romanias Monica Niculsecu 6-1, 6-2.

Jelena Jankovic and Elena Dementieva also won their second round matches, with victories over Chinas Na Li and Russias Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, respectively.

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