No. 2-ranked Rafael Nadal overcame American James Blake 7-5, 6-7 (4), 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the China Open.
The Spaniard seemed to have the second set in hand, building a 5-3 lead, but Blake broke twice to force the tiebreak.
The two battled evenly in the third set until Nadal broke Blake in the eighth game, finally prevailing when Blake’s return on match point hit the net.
Both men recorded six aces and two double faults in an entertaining 2 hour, 24 minute match that featured numerous sharply angled exchanges at the net.
Earlier in the day, Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia defeated Poland’s Lukasz Kubot 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-4 to also reach the quarterfinals.
In the women’s event, Marion Bartoli of France defeated China’s Zhang Shuai 6-1, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals.