Nalbandian wins into possible Barcelona test against Nadal

April 23rd, 2009 - 9:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Rafael Nadal Barcelona, April 23 (DPA) Seventh seed David Nalbandian completed a hat-trick of quarter-final placings at the Barcelona Open Thursday as he beat Spain’s Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 6-4.
The Argentine also reached the last eight at the Real club in 2004 and in 2007 but stalled in the third round a year ago.

The former Wimbledon finalist is more than likely to line up against king of clay Rafael Nadal if the world number 1 came through as expected in his third-round match with Belgian Christophe Rochus.

Nadal, winner of a fifth straight title four days ago in Monte Carlo, is bidding for the same in Barcelona. He carries a 22-match win streak on clay into the contest.

Czech Radek Stepanek upended last weekend’s Monte Carlo semi-finalist Stanislas Wawrinka, putting out the Swiss eighth seed 6-4, 1-6, 7-5.

The loss to number 19 Stepanek didn’t help Wawrinka’s confidence ahead of next week’s Rome Masters where he was a finalist in 2008. Stepanek stands 3-0 in the series after beating Wawrinka at Barcelona four years ago and in a 2007 Davis Cup rubber.

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