BARCELONA, Spain -- Five-time champion Rafael Nadal and fellow heavy Spanish crowd favorite David Ferrer were easy third-round winners Thursday at the $2.24 million Barcelona Open.
The world No. 1 Nadal drilled Colombian Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 6-1, while a fourth-seeded Ferrer, the 2008 and 2009 Barcelona runner-up, handled Romanian Victor Hanescu 6-3, 6-2 in 65 minutes on the red clay at Real Club de Tenis Barcelona. Nadal beat Ferrer in last week's all-Spanish finale at the Monte Carlo Masters, where Nadal is the reigning seven-time champion. Nadal also bested Ferrer in the '08 and '09 Barcelona finals.
The reigning U.S. Open, Wimbledon and French Open champ Nadal captured this Barcelona event five straight years from 2005-09. He's won his last 26 matches here.
Nadal's quarterfinal opponent on Friday will be seventh-seeded flashy Frenchman Gael Monfils, while Ferrer will encounter sixth-seeded Austrian lefthander Jurgen Melzer. Ferrer pasted Melzer in a semifinal in Monte Carlo last Saturday.
Melzer overcame 11th-seeded Spaniard Albert Montanes 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 6-2, while Monfils topped ninth-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-4, 7-6 (9-7) on Day 4.
Eighth-seeded Spaniard Nicolas Almagro landed in the quarters with a 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 decision against fading former top-five Russian Nikolay Davydenko. Almagro already owns a pair of clay-court titles this season.
With his win on Thursday, Almagro moved into the ATP's top 10 for the first time in his career.
"I knew that this match could have a prize and I tried not to think about it, but I'm not made of stone," Almagro said. "This was my third shot at breaking into the top 10, and it was great to finally do so at home in front of my people."
Almagro's quarterfinal opponent will be fellow Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero, who snuck past game Italian qualifier Simone Vagnozzi 7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 6-4 in 2 hours, 43 minutes. The former world No. 1 star Ferrero, who's seeing his first action since last year's U.S. Open, was the Barcelona champion in 2001 and runner-up in 2000 and 2005.
The 31-year-old Ferrero had been sidelined since undergoing wrist and knee surgeries back in October.
Yet another Spaniard, Feliciano Lopez, secured a spot in the quarters with a 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) victory over Japan's Kei Nishikori.
This week's winner will earn $418,000.