On Sunday at the Sony Ericsson Open, Rafael Nadal got back to being Rafael Nadal. Although it has been 10 months since he last won a tournament, Nadal was brilliant and rallied from a one set deficit to defeat David Nalbandian, 6-7 (8), 6-2, 6-2. It wasn't just that Nadal was victorious that was impressive. It was the way he won. He seems to be regaining some of his swagger. With the clay-court season approaching, the four-time French Open champion seems to be hitting his stride at the right time.
Nadal will next face fellow Spaniard David Ferrer who beat Ivo Kalrlovic 7-6 (5), 6-3. He remains on course for a semifinal showdown with Andy Roddick.
The number six-ranked Roddick, reached the round of 16 by disposing of Sergei Staghovski easily 6-2, 6-1.
In other action on Sunday, Olivier Rochus, who upset Novak Djokovic in the second round, had his luck run out and lost to number 27-ranked Thomaz Bellucci 6-3, 6-4. Number 12-ranked Juan Carlos Ferrero beat America John Isner 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
On the women's side, advancing to the fourth round were Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters. If they both continue to win, they will meet in the semifinals. Number two-seeded Caroline Wozniacki and the defending champion at this tournament, Victoria Azarenka also won.
The unseeded Henin, who recently returned to the tour after a 20-month retirement, 26th-ranked Dominika Cibulkova 6-4, 6-4. Clijsters, seeded 14th, needed only 51 minutes to beat number 17th-ranked Shahar Peer 6-0, 6-1. Wozniacki, who was under the weather still managaed to rally to beat number 32-ranked Maria Kirilenko 1-6, 6-1, 6-4.
The number four-seeded Azarenka beat Lucie Safarova 6-4, 6-2.