Nadal through to semi-final as Dolgopolov injured

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Former world number one Rafael Nadal reached the Rio Open semi-finals without even hitting a ball Friday as Aleksandr Dolgopolov withdrew injured from their last-eight tie.

Nadal is playing at the low-key clay court event in a bid to find his form ahead of a tilt at an unprecedented 10th French Open crown in June.

Ukraine's Alexandr Dolgopolov gestures during his men's singles match against Switzerland's Roger Federer on day three of the 2016 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 20, 2016. AFP PHOTO / PETER PARKS-- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE

The 29-year-old Spaniard has dropped to number five in the world after an injury-hit 2015 and suffered a shock semi-final defeat to Austria’s Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals last week at Buenos Aires, where he was defending champion.

Ukraine’s Dolgopolov was forced to withdraw due to a right shoulder injury.

Nadal will next play in Saturday’s semi-finals against Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas, who defeated Argentina’s Federico Delbonis 6-4, 7-6 (7/4).

 

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