TORONTO – Rogers Cup organizers and fans alike breathed a sigh of relief for a variety of reasons on Thursday night.
On a day that was briefly halted by a rain delay and the dismissal of the world No. 6 Andy Roddick, the tournament’s second seed, Rafael Nadal advanced to the quarterfinals with a straight set win over opponent Igor Andreev (6-2, 7-6). Seconds into the match, it appeared that the contest might not even happen after Andreev appeared to be injured on the game’s fourth point. After taking a medical timeout, Andreev came back and played without displaying any ill effects.
At a post-game press conference, Nadal agreed that the injury did not seem to take a toll on Andreev.
“I think he was fine. You know, sometimes have a little bit bad movement in the ankle, but later feels good. If you twist the ankle more it’s very difficult to continuing playing,” Nadal said. “So finally I am very happy for him, because it’s tough to have an injury in this part of season. You have Olympics and Cincinnati and US Open, so a lot of important things (are coming up).”
While Nadal dominated the opening set, Andreev tested the Spaniard in a closely-fought second. Nadal went on to finish off his Russian opponent in a third set tiebreaker.
At a post-game press conference Nadal said that he was much happier with his second match than his first.
“I play a very good match. 100% better than yesterday,” Nadal said. Just very happy for how I play today.”
After losing Roddick today and the world’s No. 1 player, Roger Federer yesterday, Nadal’s presence definitely was needed in the tournament which begins quarterfinal play on Friday.
The world’s No. 2 player now waits for the winner of the David Ferrer/Richard Gasquet match. After looking at a TV to check the score, he said that both would make tough tests.
“Both players are very good players. David Ferrer is a No. 4 or 5 in the world, and Gasquet is a very good player. This year he’s not playing his best, but in the last weeks he’s playing much better than before,” Nadal said. “Both players are very tough. Just I have to play my best tennis if I want to win tomorrow.”