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DOHA: Tennis world number one Spanish Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko of Slovakia during the Qatar Open 2011 on Wednesday.
World No 1 Rafael Nadal, who has been struggling with a heavy cold, battled to a 7-6 (7/3), 0-6, 6-3 win over Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko to reach the Qatar Open quarter-finals.
Nadal’s second-set wipeout was only the 10th time in 575 career matches that Nadal had lost a “bagel” set and the first time since February 2009.
The Spaniard won just 11 points in the second set, before he won the first three games of the deciding set.
Nadal hit six aces overall for victory in two hours and 19 minutes and will next face stylish Latvian fifth seed Ernests Gulbis who enjoyed a 6-3, 6-1 win over Croatia qualifier Antonio Veic.

Second seed Roger Federer had to fight unusually hard for the second day in a succession before reaching the quarter-finals with a 7-6 (7/5), 7-5 win over compatriot and close friend Marco Chiudinelli.
The Grand Slam record-holder needed to recover from 4-5 down in the first set tie-breaker and from a break of serve down at 1-4 in the second set against his fellow Swiss, ranked only 117 in the world and who had to qualify for the main draw.
Federer next plays Viktor Troicki, a member of the Serbian team which won the Davis Cup in Belgrade last month and who reached the last eight with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Teimuraz Gabashvili of Russia.
[Courtesy The News International]