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Rafael Nadal fights back to beat David Ferrer in 3 sets at Madrid Open

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    Rafael Nadal from Spain returns the ball to David Ferrer from Spain during the Madrid Open tennis tournament, in Madrid Friday, May 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)The Associated Press

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    Maria Sharapova from Russia reacy=ts after winning her match against Kaia Kanepi from Estonia during the Madrid Open tennis tournament, in Madrid, Friday, May 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)The Associated Press

Rafael Nadal fought back to beat David Ferrer 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-0 in Friday's quarterfinals of the Madrid Open, keeping alive his bid to reach a seventh straight final since returning from injury.

In a meeting of Spain's top ranked players, Ferrer's baseline game on the red clay almost proved too much for the fifth-seeded Nadal.

But Nadal held on to force a third set and won six straight games to improve his career record against Ferrer to 18-4.

Nadal will play either Pablo Andujar or Kei Nishikori of Japan in the semifinals.

The Spaniard has won four titles this year since being sidelined for several months with tendinitis in his left knee.