Salisbury JournalNadal cruises past Fognini (From Salisbury Journal)

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Nadal cruises past Fognini

Salisbury Journal: Rafael Nadal claimed a straightforward victory over Fabio Fognini (AP) Rafael Nadal claimed a straightforward victory over Fabio Fognini (AP)

World number one Rafael Nadal booked his place in the quarter-finals of the Sony Open after thumping 14th seed Fabio Fognini in Miami.

Nadal, who dropped just one game against the overmatched Denis Istomin in his last match, was equally impressive in a 6-2 6-2 victory over Fognini.

The 27-year-old Spaniard did not lose a single point on serve in the first set, with Fognini pushed to the limit by the top seed's powerful groundstrokes.

Fognini was well below his best and fell 4-0 down before stopping the rot in the fifth game, but the Italian could not impose himself on Nadal's serve and duly lost the first set before being immediately broken at the start of the second set.

Nadal, a runner-up in this tournament on three occasions, was rarely stretched thereafter and duly wrapped up victory inside 62 minutes against an opponent who made 35 unforced errors.

The 13-time grand slam champion will next face 12th seed Milos Raonic in the last eight, with the Canadian ending lucky loser Benjamin Becker's run in the competition with a 6-3 6-4 victory.

Second seed Novak Djokovic was also rarely troubled in a 6-3 7-5 win over Spain's Tommy Robredo and he will next face Andy Murray, who defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4 6-1, in a mouth-watering encounter.

Djokovic has an 11-8 lead in the head-to-head meetings with Murray but the Serbian will be champing at the bit for revenge after losing in the final of Wimbledon in 2013 when they last faced each other.

Third and fourth seeds Stanislas Wawrinka and David Ferrer both exited the competition after suffering three-set losses.

Australian Open champion Wawrinka battled back from losing the first set to Alexandr Dolgopolov to take the match to a decider, where the 22nd seed found his rhythm to seal a 6-4 3-6 6-1 victory.

Ferrer, meanwhile, lost a gruelling contest against Japanese 20th seed Kei Nishikori, who triumphed 7-6 (9/7) 2-6 7-6 (11/9).

Nishikori will meet Roger Federer next after the Swiss hammered Richard Gasquet 6-1 6-2, while Tomas Berdych set up a quarter-final tie against Dolgopolov with a 6-3 7-5 win over home favourite John Isner.

In the women's event, world number one Serena Williams cruised into the semi-finals by crushing fifth seed Angelique Kerber 6-2 6-2 in 62 minutes.

She will face Maria Sharapova in the last four after the Russian sealed a 7-5 6-1 victory over fellow former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.

However, Sharapova must end a dreadful run against Williams in order to progress to the final of this competition for the fourth successive time, having lost her last 14 meetings with the American.

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