Seven-time ATP Barcelona Open champion Rafael Nadal will have to wait another day to play Frenchman Benoit Paire in the third round of this April's clay-court event after rain forced officials to postpone Thursday's play, according to ESPN.co.uk.
The 26-year-old Nadal enters Barcelona as the No. 2 seed and has won this tournament seven of the past eight times dating back to 2005. After sitting out in 2010, he's won the past two tournaments in Barcelona, defeating countryman David Ferrer in straight sets in the 2011 and 2012 finals.
Nadal's seven singles titles in Barcelona are the most of any player since the event began in 1953.
As far as his overall season performance is concerned, Nadal boasted a 21-2 singles record coming into the event and is looking for his fourth title of 2013. Meanwhile, the 23-year-old Paire, the No. 13 seed in this event, is just 12-11 since the start of the year and has yet to win a singles title since turning pro in 2007.
The 6'4" talent is currently ranked No. 33 in the world, 28 spots behind Nadal.
Nadal knocked off Argentine Carlos Berlocq in straight sets to reach the third round, while Paire defeated Spain's Pablo Andujar in three hard-fought sets in the second round.
The former world No. 1 is a heavy favorite to defeat Paire and to win the tournament this weekend, especially after the top-seeded Ferrer went out in the second round on Wednesday, losing in three sets to unseeded qualifier Dmitry Tursunov of Russia.
The winner of Friday's third-round match between Nadal and Paire will advance to play the winner of sixth-seeded Kei Nishikori vs. Albert Ramos in the quarterfinals at Real Club de Tenis Barcelona.
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