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Nadal through to semi-finals as Dolgopolov injured

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - FEBRUARY 18: Rafael Nadal of Spain returns a shot to Nicolas Almagro of Spain during the Rio Open at Jockey Club Brasileiro on February 18, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Buda MendesGetty Images

Former world number one Rafael Nadal reached the Rio Open last four without even hitting a ball on Friday as Aleksandr Dolgopolov withdrew injured from their quarter-final 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.

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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