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Nadal advances to semis of Rio Open

Rafael Nadal won the first Rio Open in 2014.
Rafael Nadal won the first Rio Open in 2014. RFI/Pierre René-Worms

Top seed Rafael Nadal advanced to the semi-finals of the Rio Open on Friday night without even hitting a ball. The 29-year-old former world number one progressed after his opponent Aleksandr Dolgopolov withdrew from their quarter-final with an injured shoulder. 

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Nadal, who won the inaugural edition of the Rio Open in 2014, will next play Pablo Cuevas from Uruguay after he beat Federico Del Bonis 6-4 7-6.

There was an upset in one of the other quarter-finals as the fifth seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem toppled the Spanish second seed and defending champion David Ferrer. It finished 6-3 6-2.

"That was definitely one of the best matches o fmy career," said Thiem. "I'm really happy that I've been able to maintain my level in the days between Buenos Aires and Rio."

Thiem, 22, is the youngest player in the world's top 20. Ranked at 19, Ferrer was his second top 10 scalp in as many weeks. Last week, Thiem beat the world number five Nadal in the semi-finals on his way to winning the Argentina Open in Buenos Aires.

In Rio on Saturday night, Thiem will play Guido Pella from Argentina for a place in Sunday's final.

 

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