Nadal through to Argentina semi

Rafael Nadal moved one step closer to defending his Argentina Open title with a straight sets win over Paolo Lorenzi.

Looking to bounce back strongly from a first round exit at the Australian Open last month, Nadal looked at home on his favoured clay courts in a 7-6 (3), 6-2 victory.

After edging a tight first set, Nadal stepped on the accelerator in the second as he powered home in an hour and 50 minutes.

The Spaniard had raced out to a 4-1 lead in the first set, but was reeled in by his Italian opponent who forced a tiebreak. However, Nadal would take the breaker 7-3.

The 29-year-old was more clinical in the second set, converting all three break point chances that he created on his way to taking the set 6-2.

Nadal will face Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals after the Austrian downed Dusan Lajovic 6-4, 6-2.

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