Barcelona Open: Rafael Nadal beats David Ferrer with improved display

Rafael Nadal said he could be "much happier" with his display

Eleven-time champion Rafael Nadal gave a much improved performance to beat David Ferrer 6-3 6-3 and reach the quarter-finals of the Barcelona Open.

Nadal, 32, lost a set for the first time in four years at the event in a win over Leonardo Mayer on Wednesday.

His struggles followed defeat by Fabio Fognini in Monte Carlo on Saturday, but here he dominated Ferrer.

The Spaniard will now play Jan-Lennard Struff after the German beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 3-6 6-2.

“I had to improve on yesterday, not just the result but overall,” said Nadal, who needed four match points to seal the win.

“It was important to do better and play with more energy than yesterday. I did that so I can go back to my hotel feeling much happier.”

Elsewhere, Japan’s Kei Nishikori eased into the last eight with a 6-1 6-3 victory over Felix Auger Aliassime and will play Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena.

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Stuttgart Open: Naomi Osaka beats Hsieh Su-wei to reach quarter-finals

Naomi Osaka

World number one Naomi Osaka began her clay-court season with a straight-set victory over Hsieh Su-wei at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart.

The Japanese, who lost to Taiwan’s Hsieh at the Miami Open in March, won 6-4 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals.

The victory ensures Osaka will retain the world number one ranking for at least another week.

Osaka will face Donna Vekic next after the Croat overcame Russia’s Daria Kasatkina 6-1 7-5.

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