ATP Mexican Open: Rafa Nadal eased into the semi-finals alongside David Ferrer
Rafa Nadal breezed into the semi-finals of the Mexican Open with 6-1 7-5 victory over Leonardo Mayer.
Last Updated: 01/03/13 7:28am
The second seed required an hour and 41 minutes to see off the Argentine in his third tournament back from a long-term injury lay-off.
"So far I've played in three semifinals and that's fantastic news and it's even better because my three best games have been here," Nadal said.
"Now I feel like I have nothing to lose no matter what happens tomorrow. Either I will go on to play the final or I will go home happy to play in another tournament knowing that the knee is responding better."
Nadal will face fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro in the last four after the third seed beat another Argentine, Horacio Zeballos, 6-3 6-4.
Nadal holds an 8-0 record over his compatriot but feels he needs to be at his best to win again.
"I don't feel as the favorite for tomorrow, it's been seven months without competing and I will be facing a great clay player," he added. "I will do my best to play a great match to reach the final, it*s that clear."
Top seed David Ferrer remained on track for a fourth-straight Mexican Open title by breezing past Paolo Lorenzi 6-3 6-1, notching his 18th consecutive win in this tournament.
The Spaniard's semi-final opponent will be Italy's Fabio Fognini, who beat Santiago Giraldo 7-5 6-4.