Cincinnati (Ohio): Feliciano Lopez stormed into the quarter-finals of the Cincinnati Masters after defeating fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (3) in a well-fought two-and-a-half hour match.

Rafael Nadal and Feliciano Lopez
(left) Rafael Nadal is dejected after his loss to Feliciano Lopez on Thursday. (right) Spain’s Feliciano Lopez celebrates his win over Rafael Nadal in Cincinnati on Thursday. Pics/AFP

Nadal had to work hard to win the first set from Lopez who switched gears to take the second, serving six aces and no double faults on Thursday.

The third set was closely fought with each player holding on to his serve.

With the match poised at 6-6, Lopez seized the advantage in the tiebreaker and with it the match, to hand Nadal a stunning defeat.

Feliciano reached round 16 after defeating Canadian Milos Raonic and then Italian Andreas Seppi 7-6(6), 6-2 while Nadal came from a 6-3, 6-4 win against French Jeremy Chardy.