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Nadal Through After Vicoty Over Gulbis
06 Jan 2011
In the other half of the draw, the world number one, Rafael Nadal (ESP), took on the fifth seed Ernets Gulbis (LAT). The two have met three times. Although the Spaniard has won all the encounters, the match never ended in straight sets. Nadal was taken to three sets in the previous round, after recovering from a fever. Will Rafa have regained enough strength?

In the first set, Nadal raced to a 4-2 lead but Gulbis fought back to four all. In the ninth game, Rafa had to come from 0-40 down on his own serve. After some incredible points he took the game to lead 5-4.  After an hour of play, the first set was taken to a tiebreak. Rafa took it with 7-3.

In the second set, Nadal was able to break Gulbis’ serve in the fifth game. In the next game, he saved an incredible breakpoint to take a 4-2 lead. With some beautiful forehand winners making Gulbis run from side to side, Rafa took the set 6-3 to win the match 7-6(3) 6-3.

After his match, Nadal summed up is match with the following: “Well, I started the match playing very well the first game. After that I go down, I was a little bit dizzy in the end of the first set, but I was very lucky in the four all, love-40. That moment, decisive moment, was very lucky, I think. For sure very happy for being in semi-finals. I think today against very difficult opponent like Gulbis is a great victory for me, and I’m very happy for this victory.”

In his the semi-finals, he will play Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) in a repeat of last year’s final. Rafael Nadal said “Well, I think he’s playing unbelievable, so it’s gonna be a very difficult match. I gonna try my best tomorrow, and I know it gonna be real difficult match. So we will see what’s going on, what’s happen, and hopefully feel good physically tomorrow and wait to play a very good match, and hopefully I gonna have chances.”

After his singles match, Rafa is was expected on Court 1 for his semi-finals doubles match together with Marc Lopez. The Spanish duo, seeded third, played Teymuraz Gabashvili/Philipp Kohlschreiber (RUS/GER) who knocked out the top seeds in their openings round. Nadal/Lopez, the 2009 Qatar ExxonMobil Open doubles champions, won the match 6-4 6-4. In the final they will play the Italian duo Daniele Bracciali/Andreas Seppi, who beat Fabio Fognini/Igor Zelenay 6-1 4-6 11-9.