Defending champion Rafa Nadal maintained his momentum in Canada and cruised to a 6-3 6-4 win over Argentinean Guido Pella to advance to the Rogers Cup quarter-finals on Thursday.
Nadal, who won this event for the fourth time last year, battled through the wind and broke Pella’s service four times in the triumph. Playing in his first action since losing to Roger Federer at Wimbledon last month, the 33-year-old Spaniard enjoyed an easier outing than his opening match against England’s Daniel Evans on Wednesday when he rallied from a tiebreak deficit.
Nadal will now face seventh seed Fabio Fognini after the Italian beat France’s Adrian Mannarino 6-2, 7-5.
“He’s playing great,” Nadal said of Fognini after pulling ahead of Federer with his 379th ATP Masters 1000 win.
“I saw him a little bit yesterday. He played a great match. He’s having a great season, one of the best of his career, if not the best.
“We are in quarterfinals of a Masters 1000. All opponents are tough. For me, tomorrow is an opportunity to go on court against one of the best players, try to play a good match. So let’s see if I am able to.”
In earlier action, Austrian second seed Dominic Thiem beat Croatian Marin Cilic 7-6(7) 6-4 to reach the Rogers Cup quarter-finals.