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Rafa Advances, Joker Withdraws

Rafa in Barcelona quarters; Joker withdraws from Belgrade

April 26, 2012 | 08:10 PM

A few days days after setting more records in Monte Carlo, including becoming the first player to win the same title 8 times (not to mention 8 in a row), RAFA was back on clay. In his 2nd match he beat Colombian qualifier, Robert Farah, 6-2, 6-3, advancing to the quarters with 7 other top 10 seeds, and will be on court again tomorrow facing #5 seed Serbian Tipsarevic, a 6-2, 6-2 winner over Frederico Gil.

In the other bracket in his quarter, #9 Verdasco notched his 2nd win over #13 Kevin Anderson, 6-4, 6-4, in one of the more competitive matches of the day (his winning margin in points was 54%, while most were in the high 50's and some over 60). Nando faces Nishikori, a 7-6 (2), 6-2 winner over #17 Albert Ramos.

In the other half, #2 seed Murray overwhelmed the other Colombian in the draw, unseeded Santiago Giraldo, 6-1, 6-2.

The Scot will meet #11 Milos Raonic, who upset #6 Almagro, 6-3, 6-3 (the Spaniard was limited to just 11 points on return; Milos won 22).

#3 Ferrer and #7 Lopez won easily over unseeded opponents (Montanes and Nieminen, respectively).

The Tennis Channel coverage starts at 6:30 am tomorrow with Raonic v Murray.

JOKER will not play his home town event in Belgrade next week, citing the loss of his grandfather a week ago as too great an emotional distraction:

"After consulting with my family, I've made a decision not to take part in the tournament this year. I will take some time, try restore my emotional energy. This is certainly one of the toughest decisions in my career, but it is impossible for me to play in the next few days and to think about tennis, when there are some other things in my head," Djokovic said.


Barcelona 4.26.12

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