Rafael Nadal win sets up Gael Monfils last eight clash

Rafael Nadal
Nadal is aiming for a sixth Barcelona Open title

World number one Rafael Nadal eased to victory over Colombian Santiago Giraldo to set up a quarter-final against Gael Monfils at the Barcelona Open.

The Spaniard was always too strong for Giraldo and cruised to a 6-3 6-1 win.

Nadal, 24, is unbeaten on clay since 2009 and will now face world number nine Monfils, who beat fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-4 7-6.

David Ferrer, who Nadal beat in the Monte Carlo Masters final last week, also made it to the last eight.

Ferrer beat Victor Hanescu of Romania 6-3 6-2 and will play Austrian Jurgen Melzer in the next round.

Eighth seed Nicolas Almagro defeated Nikolay Davydenko 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 and goes on to face fellow Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero, the 2003 French Open champion.

But Nadal will be the player to beat as he continued his pursuit of a sixth Barcelona Open title with his latest victory.

Giraldo, the world number 54, produced flashes of brilliance and, after being broken in the fifth game, fought back to level at 3-3 before Nadal powered to victory.

"Beating Giraldo 6-3 6-1 is good news because he can hit winners from anywhere on the court," said Nadal.

He added: "[The quarter-final] is going to be a very tough match. Monfils is one of those players who can attack as well as defend and you never know how he is going to come out and play.

"He'll probably have to come out and attack but I'll try to dominate the points with my drives."

The remaining quarter-final will see Spain's Feliciano Lopez take on Ivan Dodig of Croatia.