Rafael Nadal has moved into the quarter-finals of the Barcelona Open on Thursday after he got the better of retiring compatriot David Ferrer with 6-3 6-3 win.
Nadal was able to edge in front midway through the first set and maintained his position from there through rain delays.
Ferrer is set for retirement before Madrid Open next month and may not play Nadal again, but hearing his name chanted by the crowd at the end of a gutsy display.
After seeing his performance levels waver drastically at the Monte Carlo Masters last week, Nadal put in more to improve although he is still not quite back at his imperious clay-court best.
Rafa Nadal, the 11-time Barcelona champion was put under pressure in each of his first two service games before turning the tide and taking control of the opener.
Ferrer went down at the end of an extended sixth game as he sent a backhand narrowly wide.
After a see-saw second, Ferrer responded swiftly to an early break, only to slip behind again when he was forced into the net by the world number two.
Thereafter was Rain briefly disrupting the play again before Nadal sealed victory with another break as Ferrer finally gave in to intense pressure.