By Michael Place
RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- World No. 1 Rafael Nadal cruised into the Rio Open semifinals on Friday with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Portugal's Joao Sousa.
The 27-year-old will face fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar on Saturday for a place in the final of the inaugural ATP World Tour 500 clay-court event.Andujar advanced by disposing of compatriot Tommy Robredo 6-1, 6-1.
Second-seed David Ferrer will play unseeded Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine in the other semifinal. Ferrer beat Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 while Dolgopolov overcame third-seed Fabio Fognini 6-1, 6-1.
Nadal said he was no longer affected by the back injury suffered during his loss to Stanislas Wawrinka in the Australian Open final last month.
"I played a complete match, my best of the tournament," Nadal said after the win.
"I was able to move better and with more intensity. I don't want to talk about my back. I am happy to be in the semifinal and now I will be facing a tough opponent."
In the women's event, top seed Klara Zakopalova reached the last four after defeating Katarzyna Piter of Poland 6-4, 6-0.
The Czech will play Teliana Pereira for a place in the final after the Brazilian overcame Romania's Irina-Camelia Begu 6-4, 6-4.
Kurumi Nara of Japan will meet Italian Nastassja Burnett in the other semifinal. Nara advanced after her opponent Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain withdrew due to injury with the former leading 7-6, 2-0. Burnett beat Argentina's Paula Ormaechea 5-7, 6-2, 7-5.