Second-seeded Andy Roddick beat Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-2, 6-3 on Thursday to reach the semifinals of the Brisbane International.
The eighth-ranked American hit seven aces and converted 65 percent of his first serve points to beat the 20th-ranked Baghdatis.
Also, Kevin Anderson of South Africa rallied to beat Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the last four.
Top seed Maria Sharapova was bundled out of the Auckland Classic women's tennis tournament in the quarter-finals Thursday, beaten in straight sets by unheralded Greta Arn.
Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfred Tsonga made it into the semifinals of the Qatar Open in Doha on Thursday with wins over Viktor Troicki and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez respectively.
World No. 1 Nadal, meanwhile, had to survive a tight first set and the loss of his first love set in nearly two years before overcoming the inspired hitting of Lukas Lacko in the second round.
Serbia in final
World No. 3 Novak Djokovic led Serbia into its second Hopman Cup final in Perth on Thursday.
The Serbian duo of Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic lost its final round match to Belgium's Justine Henin and Ruben Bemelmans, but still topped Group A.
At Brisbane (Brisbane International): Men: Quarterfinals: Andy Roddick bt Marcos Baghdatis 6-2, 6-3; Kevin Anderson bt Santiago Giraldo 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. Second round: Robin Soderling bt Michael Berrer 6-3, 7-6(7); Matthew Ebden bt Denis Istomin 6-4, 6-4.
Women: Quarterfinals: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova bt Lucie Safarova 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-3; Petra Kvitova bt Dominka Cibulkova 6-0, 6-4; Marion Bartoli bt Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-2, 6-1.
At Auckland (Auckland Women's Classic): Quarterfinals: Yanina Wickmayer bt Simona Halep 6-0, 6-2; Greta Arn bt Maria Sharapova 6-2, 7-5; Peng Shuai bt Heather Watson 6-4, 7-5; Julia Goerges bt Kateryna Bondarenko 5-7, 6-2, 6-2.
At Doha (Qatar Open): Quarterfinal: Roger Federer bt Viktor Troicki 6-2, 6-2; Jo-Wilfried Tsonga bt Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-6(4), 7-6(9). Second round: Rafael Nadal bt Lukas Lacko 7-6(3), 0-6, 6-3; Nikolay Davydenko bt Jarkko Nieminen 6-4, 7-5.
At Perth: Hopman Cup: Group A: Belgium bt Serbia 2-1 (Justine Henin bt Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 6-3; Ruben Bemelmans lost to Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-2; Henin & Bemelmans bt Ivanovic & Djokovic 3-6, 6-4, 10-4.
Australia bt Kazakhstan 3-0 (Alicia Molik bt Sesil Karatantcheva 6-3, 6-2; Lleyton Hewitt bt Andrey Golubev 6-3, 6-3; Molik & Hewitt bt Karatantcheva & Golubev 8-7(1). — Agencies