Nadal Survives Doha Open Scare

Top seed Rafael Nadal pushed into the semi-finals of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha Thursday after a gritty 7-5, 6-4 win over World Number 24 Ernests Gulbis, who continues to challenge the Spaniard.
Nadal, who last year had to rally from a set down in Indian Wells and Rome to beat the 25-year-old Latvian, again found the going tough before ultimately extending his perfect record against Gulbis to 7-0.
“It was my best match of the tournament today”, Nadal said. “If you are not playing well it’s very, very difficult, no? He’s a very dangerous player. He’s able to hit winners from every part on the court”.
Even when the Spaniard finally appeared to be in control at 6-5 40/0 in the first set, Gulbis fought back to deuce, pressuring Nadal to serve out the set.
Gulbis also raced to a 3-0 lead in the second set before the Spaniard responded to win six of the last seven games of the match.
Nadal is the only seeded player to advance to the semi-finals, which will be played Friday ahead of Saturday’s final. The World Number 1 reached the Doha final in 2010, losing in three sets to Nikolay Davydenko, but is yet to win the title.

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