MASON, Ohio, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Rafael Nadal moved closer to claiming the world No. 1 ranking Friday by downing Nicolas Lapentti in the quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Masters.
Nadal captured his 32nd consecutive match, ousting Lapentti 7-6 (7-3), 6-1.
With Roger Federer having lost three of his last four matches, he is on the verge of losing the No. 1 ranking he has held for more than four years. If Nadal wins this tournament, he will supplant Federer as the world's top tennis player.
In the semifinals, Nadal will meet Novak Djokovic, who was a 6-3, 6-4 winner over Ernests Gulbis Friday.
In the other quarterfinals, Andy Murray defeated Carlos Moya 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 and Ivo Karlovic won over Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-3).