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Nadal, Ljubicic advance to quarterfinals

June 5, 2006 at 6:38 PM

PARIS, June 5 (UPI) -- Reigning champion Rafael Nadal and Croatian star Ivan Ljubicic advanced Monday to the quarterfinals of the French Open.

Nadal, 20, defeated former world No. 1 Aussie Lleyton Hewitt 6-2, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. He won in 3 hours, 17 minutes on his second match point of the day when Hewitt sent one final return long.

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Hewitt committed six double faults, including five in the fourth set.

Nadal extended his clay court-record winning streak to 57 straight, including 21-0 this year. His quarterfinal opponent on Wednesday will be Serb Novak Djokovic.

Nadal is 32-3 this year, including an ATP-co-leading four titles. World No. 1 Roger Federer also owns four 2006 championships, but is 0-3 in his 2006 finals against Nadal.

Ljubicic earned his 38th match victory of the year by defeating Spaniard Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. Only Federer (42) has won more matches than the 6-foot-4 Croat this year.

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