Nadal beats Montanes to reach Barcelona Open quarterfinals

11:27 a.m. EDT April 21, 2016

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Nearly 14 years after their first meeting as professionals, Rafael Nadal maintained order by beating Spanish countryman Albert Montanes 6-2, 6-2 to make the Barcelona Open quarterfinals on Thursday.

Nadal has yet to drop a set in six tour-level and challenger matches against Montanes. They exchanged early breaks but the top-seeded Nadal soon took control.

Nadal broke serve five times and had 24 winners against only nine for Montanes, a wild card.

“I had a great forehand today and the conditions were much better than yesterday,” Nadal said.

Coming off his first title of the year at the Monte Carlo Masters last week, Nadal will next face Fabio Fognini of Italy, who defeated eighth-seeded Viktor Troicki of Serbia 6-3, 6-2.

Fognini eliminated Nadal in the third round of Barcelona last year, among his three wins over Nadal in 2015, including in a five-set match in the third round at the U.S. Open.

Nadal is trying to win his ninth title at the Barcelona Open, and first since 2013. He is on a seven-match winning streak.

Second-seeded Kei Nishikori, the two-time defending champion, advanced to…

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