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Tennis: Rain ends day early with Nadal kept waiting

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Spanish seed Nicolas Almagro reached the quarter-finals of the Barcelona Open on Thursday before rain wrecked more than half of the third-round programme.

Second seed Rafael Nadal was due to face French 13th seed Benoit Paire but never got started due to the weather.

It will now be moved to Friday though forecasts remain grim for the ensuing days, with more rain likely.

In a match stranded on court, Slovak Martin Klizan leads German eighth seed Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-1, 6-7 (2/7), 4-3.

Beside Nadal, third-round matches involving seeds including number three Tomas Berdych, number five Milos Raonic and number six Kei Nishikori were all postponed.

Almagro, seeded fourth, defeated compatriot Marcel Granollers 6-3, 6-4, in 93 minutes.

Argentine Juan Monaco, the number seven, put out French tenth seed Jeremy Chardy 6-0, 7-6 (13/11) while Brazilian number 16 Thomaz Bellucci ended the upset run of Dmitry Tursunov 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.

The Russian qualifier had knocked out top seeded Spaniard David Ferrer the day before, leaving second seed Nadal with a gilt-edged opportunity for an eighth title from nine appearances at the Real Club de Tenis.

Almagro broke Granollers three times to set up his quarter-final with Monaco. The Spaniard leads the Argentine four wins to three, with Monaco winning their last two over the past two seasons.

"I have a tough quarter-final, so I don't want to look any further," said the Spaniard. "I don't want to put any more pressure on myself than is necessary.

"I'm eager to win the title. I'm playing well and being more aggressive on court. Tomorrow will be difficult but I'm on good form and have the crowd support."

Almagro's victory was his seventh without a loss against Granollers, Almagro has twice reached Barcelona semi-finals (2006, 2011) and is competing at the event for the tenth time.

This month's Houston clay finalist improved to 19-9 in Barcelona as he won his 13th clay match of the season.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130425/tennis-rain-ends-day-early-nadal-kept-waiting