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Slow start doesn't stop Nadal

May 16, 2013 at 4:48 PM
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ROME, May 16 (UPI) -- Rafael Nadal overcame a poor start Thursday before posting a three-set win in third-round action at the Italian Masters tennis tournament in Rome.

Nadal, the No. 5 seed this week, beat Ernests Gulbis 1-6, 7-5, 6-4. Gulbis, who had 15 aces, controlled the early going but Nadal made a slight adjustment that was enough to turn the match.

The aggressive style by Gulbis was shown by his 59 winners and 50 unforced errors. The first set was so lopsided that Gulbis won more points (97-94) overall in the match but Nadal managed a pair of breaks in each the second and third sets to advance.

His quarterfinal opponent will be familiar as fourth-seeded David Ferrer advanced on a walkover when Philipp Kohlschreiber was ill. Nadal beat Ferrer played in the quarterfinals of last week's Madrid Open.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic defeated Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-1, 6-4 in 61 minutes, saving the three break chances he faced, and second-seeded Roger Federer played 62 minutes in taking out Gilles Simon 6-1, 6-2.

Tomas Berdych, at No. 6 the only other seeded player in the field, dumped Kevin Anderson 7-5, 6-2.

Jerzy Janowicz took out his second ranked French player in as many rounds with a 3-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 decision over No. 9 Richard Gasquet. Janowicz eliminated eighth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round.

Benoit Paire beat seventh-seeded Juan Martin del Potro 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) while Marcel Granollers was a 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 winner over Jeremy Chardy.

Friday's quarterfinals have Djokovic meeting Berdych while Ferrer and Nadal play in one side of the draw. Federer is to play Janowicz and Granollers goes against Paire in the other quarterfinals.

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