SONY ERICSSON OPEN
Nadal Sets Tsonga Showdown
Rafael Nadal won a grinding two-hour battle with fellow Spaniard David Ferrer Tuesday to reach the Sony Ericsson Open quarter-finals as his comeback continues to gather momentum.
After a dour struggle in the first set in which both players traded heavy blows from the baseline, Nadal looked headed for a routine win when he raced to a 3-0 lead in the second. But Ferrer continued to attack and pushed Nadal all the way before the six-time Grand Slam champion triumphed 7-6(5), 6-4 in 1 hr., 57 mins.
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Nadal is playing just his fourth tournament of the season, but already boasts an impressive 15-3 mark on the year. At Indian Wells two weeks ago, in his first outing since retiring in the Australian Open quarter-finals with a right knee injury, Nadal reached the semi-finals and won the doubles title.
Nadal next meets powerful Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, against whom he owns a 4-1 lead in their head-to-head series. But Tsonga enjoyed a convincing win over Nadal in the 2008 Australian Open semi-finals. The winner of the Nadal-Tsonga match will play the winner of the Andy Roddick-Nicolas Almagro quarter-final.
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Nadal, who has now advanced to the Miami quarter-finals the past four years, reached the Sony Ericsson Open final in 2005 and 2008. At just 23 he has won 15 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles, third all-time behind Andre Agassi (17) and Roger Federer (16).
Watch Soderling Interview
Roland Garros finalist Robin Soderling reached the Miami quarter-finals for the first time with a 6-0, 6-7(3), 6-2 win over Chilean Fernando Gonzalez. Soderling fired 15 aces and did not face a break point. He next meets Russian Mikhail Youzhny.
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