Former world No 1 continues his successful comeback from injury.
Spain’s Rafa Nadal beat Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-1, 6-4 to make it into the semi-finals of the VTR Open in Chile.
With the daunting goal of making his way back into the top four in the world at the top of his agenda, Nadal is looking not just for victories, but to hone his game as he makes his way back to fitness.
He was under little pressure as the opening set unfolded and surged into a commanding 3-0 lead, showing touches of his old self.
He duly took that set 6-1 and seemed on course for a routine win.
But Gimeno-Traver – the seventh seed here – moved up a notch as the second set unfolded and Nadal was unable to secure a break of serve until the ninth game of the set.
Leading 5-4, the eight time Grand Slam winner had to simply serve out for victory, but came under more pressure than at any previous time in the match.
He was forced to save four break points before eventually converting his third match point as Gimeno-Traver sent a wild forehand out of play, to conclude a 6-1 6-4 win.
Nadal will play Jeremy Chardy for a place in the final.