Rafael Nadal of Spain returns the ball to Kevin Anderson of South Africa during the Barcelona Open Tennis Tournament in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, April 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manu Fernandez
April 27, 2017

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Defending champion Rafael Nadal defeated Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals of the Barcelona Open on Thursday.

Nadal converted a break point in each set to secure his seventh straight clay-court victory.

Nadal, a nine-time champion in Barcelona, will next face qualifier Hyeon Chung of South Korea or eighth-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany.

The fifth-ranked Nadal is coming off his 10th title at the Monte Carlo Masters.

In other third-round matches, fourth-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria defeated Daniel Evans of Britain 7-6 (5), 6-2 to set up a quarterfinal against lucky loser Yuichi Sugita of Japan, who beat seventh-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain 6-3, 6-3.

Top-seeded Andy Murray plays Spain's Feliciano Lopez in a third-round match later on Thursday.

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