World number one Rafael Nadal has advanced to the Semi-final of the PTT Thailand Open on Friday, after another dominant display ensured him victory against Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin.
Bangkok, the 1st of October 2010: The Spaniard, recent winner of his 9th grand slam at the US Open, dispatched with his 22-year-old opponent Kukushkin with a resounding 6-2, 6-3 win.
Nadal, an almost dead-certainty for the Thailand Open crown following early exits for all other seeded competitors, broke the 83-ranked Kazakh at 3-2 in the first set before going on a six game winning run before Kukushkin answered.
His service game, which he himself was unhappy with in his second round performance, improved throughout the match in which he was never broken. “It was a much better performance than yesterday and I felt really happy. My serve-kick worked really well,” Nadal said.
In other matches, Jarkko Nieminen of Finland and Austrian, Benjamin Becker progressed to the semi-finals after impressive runs at a tournament decimated by the early exits of all seeded players. The pair will now face each other, Becker was a finalist in Bangkok at the 2007 tournament.
Nadal will now meet fellow countryman Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the semi-final after the Spaniard shocked the only remaining seeded player, Latvian, Ernests Gulbis, in an entertaining match, which ended 7-6, 4-6, 6-3.
Those who made early exits include second-seeded Fernando Verdasco, former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, Serbian Viktor Troicki and Gulbis.