PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal defeats Ivan Dodig to reach quarterfinals at Barcelona Open

On the anniversary of his very first title in Barcelona, Rafael Nadal defeated Croatian Ivan Dodig 6-3, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. He will next play against Nicolas Almagro.

“I think I improved everything in my game a little bit,” said Rafa. “I’m happy with the way I played. I was a little bit more aggressive with more control on my shots and changing direction better than I did yesterday. I was able to hit a few winners with the right confidence. That’s the important thing for me.”

Rafa reached another milestone today: He is now level with tennis great Arthur Ashe in the 11th place on the Open Era match wins list with his victory today. Our champion currently boasts a 683-133 career mark, on par with Ashe’s 683-225 record. Rafa will enter the top 10 career victories list when he equals the 10th place record of Boris Becker at 713 victories.

Congratulations twice over, Rafa, and Vamos!

Source: ATP World Tour, Photos: AP, EFE, Getty Images

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