Novak Djokovic crashes out in second round of Barcelona Open

Rafael Nadal tops Ferrero for his first Barcelona crown

Rafael Nadal tops Ferrero for his first Barcelona crown

Nadal lost his serve just once and he controlled the pace from the very beginning, winning 10 of the opening 11 games to sprint towards a 6-1 4-0 lead, outplaying Garcia-Lopez in the rallies.

"I always play good tennis in Barcelona".

He has not reached the last eight of a tournament since Wimbledon 2017 and has struggled with a long-term elbow injury.

The 12-time Grand Slam champion, seeded sixth at the ongoing tournament, was stunned by qualifier Martin Klizan 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 in a 98-minute Round of 32 encounter.

In the other half of the draw, Grigor Dimitrov and Thiem are the favorites to make the summit clash, both of whom the world number one has beaten this year.

Having received a first-round bye, Nishikori pulled out in the first game of the second set of his second-round match against Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, after losing the first set 6-3.

Serving for the match, Klizan double-faulted but he had three chances to close out and clinched the second when another Djokovic forehand missed its mark.

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It was Nadal's 397th match win on clay in a career which includes 76 titles on all surfaces.

The world No 1 extended his Open Era record of consecutive sets won on clay to 40 with his latest victory.

"Today I went out on the track with a better mentality than yesterday", he said.

Only Guillermo Coria (35) and Ilie Nastase (34) have ever topped 30 straight sets.

Thiem, who was hammered by Nadal in the Monte Carlo quarter-finals last week, had little trouble in beating Slovakian lucky loser Jozef Kovalik 7-6 6-2 and he will face Stefanos Tsitsipas for a place in the last four after the Greek teenager ousted 10th's seed Albert Ramos-Vonolas.

Nadal, a dominant player at both Monte-Carlo and the Barcelona Open, was the favorite there and remains the favorite this week.

He missed last year's U.S. Open and the Australian Open at the start of 2018 after injuring the same wrist in August.

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