Murray and Nadal march into Barcelona quarters

Top seeds Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray both secured straight sets victories in their third-round matches at the Barcelona Open on Thursday.

Home favourite Nadal was the first to advance, putting on a clay-court clinic as he dispatched South African Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-4.

“It wasn’t a day where I took a lot of free points because the court was very heavy. But I was serving well, at a good speed and changing directions well,” said Nadal. “I had the chance to hit my forehand after my serve and take control of the rallies, so I’m very happy with how I played.”

Once again playing on Pista Rafa Nadal, the centre court at Real Club de Tenis that now bears his name, Nadal dropped just nine points on serve throughout.

He was also able to apply plenty of pressure on Anderson's serve, earning 10 break points during the 94-minute contest, though he only needed a solitary break in each set to wrap up the victory.

Nadal is eyeing his 10th Barcelona Open title this week, a repeat of the same feat he achieved at last week's Monte Carlo Masters.

He moves on to face South Korean Hyeon Chung.

World No 1 Murray, meanwhile, also looked solid as he defeated Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 6-4.

It was Murray's first match this week, after receiving a bye in the first round and a walkover in the second.

Like Nadal, Murray broke once in each set as he moved on to his third quarter-final in six events in 2017.

He will face either Albert Ramos-Vinolas or Roberto Bautista Agut next.

All of Thursday's results in Barcelona

Horacio Zeballos (Argentina) beat Benoit Paire (France) 6-4 3-6 7-6(3) 
Karen Khachanov (Russia) beat David Goffin (Belgium) 6-7(7) 6-3 6-4     
Andy Murray (Britain) beat Feliciano Lopez (Spain) 6-4 6-4           
Chung Hyeon (South Korea) beat Alexander Zverev (Germany) 6-1 6-4       
Rafa Nadal (Spain) beat Kevin Anderson (South Africa) 6-3 6-4           
Yuichi Sugita (Japan) beat Pablo Carreno (Spain) 6-3 6-3                
Dominic Thiem (Austria) beat Daniel Evans (Britain) 7-6(5) 6-2
Albert Ramos Vinolas (Spain) beat Roberto Bautista Agut (Spain) 6-2 3-6 6-4

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