during the one hour twenty-three minutes long clay court contest.
In a Friday quarterfinal battle of 24 year olds, Nadal faces the 7th seeded Gael Monfils of France. Nadal leads Monfils head to head 7-1.
In the duo’s last meeting last year in October in the final round at Tokyo, Nadal won 6-1, 7-5 in 77 minutes.
Monfils, three inches taller than Nadal at 6’ 4”, will need to power Nadal into errors for any hope of an unlikely upset.
Last year, playing on his favorite surface of clay, Nadal took ATP Tour titles at Monte Carlo, Rome and Madrid before winning his fifth career French Open title.
Last week at Monte Carlo, Nadal scored his first ATP Tour championship win of the year at Monte Carlo.
And with the world number two Novak Djokovic of Serbia sidelined this week with injury, Barcelona marks a chance for Nadal to increase his ATP Tour rankings points lead.
Djokovic, 24-0 this year, took his second career Australian Open championship title in January.
Starting in early 2008, Nadal won 32 matches in a row to first reach the ATP Tour world number one ranking in August of that year.
Nadal, perhaps the greatest clay court player ever, has won the French Open five times in six years, an ATP Tour French Open record. The Spaniard is 38-1 lifetime at the French Open.