Nadal moves into Mexico Open semis

Updated: Mar 02, 2013, 11:04 AM IST

Zeenews Sports Bureau

Mexio City: Spaniard Rafael Nadal continued his comeback trail reaching his third back-to-back semi-final since his return after a seven-month lay off.

Sidelined with a major knee injury since mid-2012, Nadal is yet to get back to full fitness and form, but he beat Argentina`s Leonardo Mayer 6-1 7-5 to reach the Mexican Open semi-finals.

The former world number 1 is playing his third tournament in four weeks, ending as runner-up at the Chile Open before winning the Brazil Open two weeks ago.

The 11-time Grand Slam champion will now face the toughest match since his return, against compatriot Nicolas Almagro, with world number four David Ferrer awaiting the winner in the final.

"I don`t feel like the favourite for tomorrow," said Nadal. "It`s been seven months without competing and I will be facing a great clay player. I will do my best to play a great match to reach the final, it`s that clear."

While his knee is still acting up, he does feel it`s improved gradually, as has his level of tennis.

"So far I`ve played in three semi-finals and that`s fantastic news, and it`s even better because my three best games have been here. Now I feel like I have nothing to lose no matter what happens tomorrow. Either I will go on to play the final or I will go happy to play in another tournament knowing that the knee is responding better."