In the third round at the Sony Ericsson Open, Rafael Nadal faced fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez. Nadal eased his way into the fourth round with a solid 6-3, 6-3 triumph.
After a few comfortable holds by Lopez, Nadal got the critical break to go ahead 4-3. Subsequent to promptly consolidating, Nadal arrived at triple break point. Although Lopez fought back to deuce, Nadal eventually secured the break to claim the first set.
In the second set, with a forehand down the line winner, Nadal manufactured double break point. Nadal then won the next point to take a 4-2 advantage.
Again, Nadal quickly consolidated for 5-2. Despite Lopez guarding serve the next game, with a volley that threaded the needle, Nadal had double match point. With a forehand winner, Nadal progressed to the fourth round.
It is well known that the Spanish players are close. Nadal was asked whether friendship gets in the way. “I think nothing changes when you are on court. You compete and it is nothing new for us. This is the ninth time against each other. We are very, very good friends. We had dinner yesterday, so that is normal. That’s the sport. One player has to win; the other one has to lose. We accept both things”.
When Nadal was asked to evaluate his performance today, he responded “ I think I played a solid match in general. I played good shots, very good passing shots. I served well much better than Indian Wells. . . It’s always difficult to play against Feli. . .He plays the slice, he play aggressively, he has a fantastic serve. He doesn’t want to play long points. . .difficult to find the right feel, and I did”.
In the next round, Nadal will take on the winner of the night match between Alexandr Dolgopolov and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Also, Janko Tipsarevic beat Philipp Petzschner in straight sets.