Spaniards nab three of eight quarterfinal spots in Dubai

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Spanish tennis players Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer and Feliciano López have all reached the Dubai Tennis Championships quarterfinals, while the fourth Spaniard, Fernando Verdasco, was halted in the prestigious tournament's second round.

6 March 2008

MADRID - Spanish tennis players Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer and Feliciano López have all reached the Dubai Tennis Championships quarterfinals, while the fourth Spaniard, Fernando Verdasco, was halted in the prestigious tournament's second round.

Nadal, who won the title at Dubai in 2006 and who is looking to close in on the ATP ranking points lead of world number one Roger Federer - surprisingly knocked out in Dubai by Scotland's Andy Murray in the first round - had no problem overcoming Mikhail Ledovskikh (6-4, 6-0). After struggling with the Russian's serve in the first set, Nadal broke away from a 4-4 stalemate, and didn't drop a game in the next eight to seal his opponent's fate.

Also with a place in the quarterfinals is world number four David Ferrer, who overcame Belgium's Olivier Rochus 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 with more difficulty. After going down one set and trailing 4-2 in the second, Ferrer battled back, winning the match's most crucial break that allowed him to take the second set and cruise to victory in the third.

Meanwhile, Feliciano López surprised the tournament's eighth seed Tomas Berdych beating him 6-2, 7-5, although the Czech dealt the Spaniard a second-set scare when he battle back from a 5-2 deficit to tie at five all.

With the loss of Fernando Verdasco to Federer's nemesis Andy Murray, the Armada just missed having half of all quarterfinal representation in the tournament. The Scotsman beat the ATP's world number 30 6-3, 3-6, 7-6.

Ferrer will next face his compatriot López. Nadal will play Andy Roddick.

[Copyright EL PAÍS 2008]

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