World number two Rafa Nadal scraped into the quarter-finals of the Cincinnati Open after beating fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 7-6, 6-7, 7-6 in a fierce battle but his rivals all had comfortable paths into the last eight.
Rafa Nadal fluffed his lines on the return from five-week break when the Spanish world number two was stunned 1-6, 7-6, 7-6 by unheralded Croatian Ivan Dodig in his opening match of the Montreal Masters.
Rafa Nadal eased into the Wimbledon semi-finals on Wednesday with a four-set victory over Mardy Fish but his injured foot is still causing concern ahead of a semi-final showdown with Briton Andy Murray.
Andy Murray reached his third successive Wimbledon semi-final by brushing aside the negligible challenge of weary Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 on Wednesday to set up another last-four showdown with Rafa Nadal.
Not many players can say they scare Roger Federer but the six-times Wimbledon champion`s next opponent David Nalbandian is one of a select bunch as the Swiss master continues his bid to win his 17th grand slam title on Saturday.
Rafa Nadal continues the defence of his Wimbledon title on Wednesday with a second-round match against Ryan Sweeting, one of a number of Americans hoping to seize the limelight on the third day of the grasscourt grand slam.
One of her twin girls in one arm and a glass of champagne in the other hand, Roger Federer`s wife Mirka looked far from dejected after her husband once again came up short against Rafa Nadal in a French Open final.
Rafa Nadal had doubted he could seal a sixth French Open title having started in shaky form and with rivals looking imperious, but the Spaniard need not have worried after triumphing with another claycourt masterclass.
Champion Rafa Nadal hopes to celebrate his birthday by beating Andy Murray in the French Open semi-finals on Friday before Novak Djokovic bids to wrap up the world number one spot against Roger Federer.