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Nadal Cements Berth in Fourth Round at Sony Ericsson Open

In a day session which progressed into the evening, Rafael Nadal prevailed over Radek Stepanek 6-2, 6-2 and improved his mark to 6-0 versus the Czech.

Despite the score, Stepanek was not a comfortable put away for Nadal using everything in his bag of tricks to disrupt the Spaniard. At one all in the first set, Stepanek forced Nadal to overcome break point in order to hold.

After failing to build on a 15-30 advantage on his rival’s serve, Stepanek was broken when Nadal connected on a forehand crosscourt pass for a winner. Next, Nadal consolidated for 5-2. Then, Nadal broke Stepanek a second time to bed the opening set.

Following a hold where he wiped out break point, Nadal converted to secure the break. In spite of Stepanek fighting, Nadal went on to stretch his lead to 3-0.

Down the road, Stepanek dismissed double break point to stay in touch with Nadal at 2-4. However, serving to extend the match, Stepanek stared at triple break point. On the second match point, Stepanek’s forehand found the net resulting in Nadal securing his spot into the fourth round.

Next, Nadal will take on Kei Nishikori who booted Lukas Rosol 6-4, 6-2. After his victory Nadal had the following thoughts on his upcoming match “every match is completely different, but I beat him two times on grass. One time here last year. No one match can be easy against him. . . He’s a fantastic player. He has a big talent hits the ball very early, plays very aggressive. So, [he] will be a really tough opponent. If I am not playing my best, I will have not very good chances to be in the quarterfinals. So I gonna try to play well. I gonna try to play aggressive with no mistakes”.

Of note, seventh seed Tomas Berdych was stunned by Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 while Janko Tipsarevic edged out Alexandr Dolgopolov in three sets. Dimitrov and Tipsarevic will battle it out for a place in the quarterfinals.

With Milos Raonic unable to take court due to an ankle injury, Andy Murray got a pass into the fourth round and will face Gilles Simon. Simon defeated Jurgen Melzer 7-6, 6-4.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga bested Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 7-6. Tsonga now waits for the winner of the John Isner- Florian Mayer match this evening.

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