BARCELONA, Spain -- Top-ranked Rafael Nadal looked more like his confident self on the clay in passing Ivan Dodig of Croatia 6-3, 6-3, to reach the Barcelona Open quarterfinals on Thursday. Nadal was struggling with his game coming into the event and an unconvincing opening victory on Wednesday did little to calm the nerves. But Nadal looked more assured as he ousted the 37th-ranked Dodig in 83 minutes in the third round. Nadal moves on to face fellow Spanish player Nicolas Almagro in an early rematch of last seasons final, which Nadal won for his eight title at the tournament in the Catalan capital. Almagro advanced after beating Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-3. Dodigs attempts to come forward were met with passing shots from Nadal, who finally broke for 3-2 after coming to the net to force Dodig into netting a return. Dodig broke right back but Nadal had found his rhythm as he forced Dodig into 15 errors in the first set, when he won the last three games for the lead. Nadal maintained his play to start the second set, when he made fewer errors and seemed to grow in confidence to break Dodig for the fourth time as he sealed the win. "Theres still some work to do but I definitely took a step forward from yesterday. I move on feeling more assured," Nadal said. "I needed this game." Earlier, fourth-seeded Kei Nishikori beat Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan 6-0, 6-4. Nishikori had been sidelined by a groin injury since beating Roger Federer four weeks ago. Russian player Teymuraz Gabashvili followed up his win over fifth-ranked David Ferrer with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over another Spaniard, Inigo Cervantes, to reach the quarterfinals. Ernests Gulbis of Latvia, Marin Cilic of Croatia, and Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany all won to advance. Tennessee Titans Jerseys . -- Two-time AL Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana agreed Tuesday to a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles as he tries to come back from the second major operation on his left shoulder. Bennie Logan Titans Jersey . The Raptors have been outscored 88-66 in the opening quarter over a three-game span to begin the month of February. Their most recent loss, 109-101 in Sacramento on Wednesday, was eerily similar to Saturdays defeat at the hands of the Trail Blazers. http://www.authenticshoptitans.com/will-compton-jersey/ . -- Claudio Bieler hadnt scored since early September, and not from the run of play since mid-July. Harold Landry Jersey . McCutchen was cut before the series opener against Seattle on Monday night, when Lewis was set for his first start for Texas since July 18, 2012. Texas selected Lewis contract from Triple-A Round Rock. Blaine Gabbert Titans Jersey . "Im not doing enough to help them," Durant told The Oklahoman on Monday of his 28-9 team. "Im shooting too much. Im shooting too many threes. Im not helping them out at all.Chicagos Joakim Noah and Indianas Paul George received the most votes on this years NBA all-defensive team, released Monday. Less than two months after a landslide victory in balloting for the leagues defensive player of the year, Noah was the only player to receive more than 100 first-team votes and earn more than 200 points for the team. Noah received 105 of 123 possible votes, while George had 65 votes. The rest of the first team consisted of Clippers guard Chris Paul, Oklahoma City forward Serge Ibaka and Golden State swingman Andre Iguodala. Its the second consecutive year Noah was chosen to the first team. Four-time league MVP LeBron James and defensive player of the year runner-up Roy Hibbert were both on the second team. Noah dominated on the defensive end this season, joining Andre Drummond of Detroit and Anthony Davis of New Orleans as the only players in the league to average at least 10.0 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.2 steals. Noah finished sixth in the league in rebounding (11.3), 12th in blocks (1.51) and helped the Bulls hold opponents to 43.0 per cent field goal shooting, the second-best maark in the league.dddddddddddd He also had 1.24 steals per game. George, widely considered one of the leagues best two-way players at age 24, finished fifth in the league in steals (1.89) and was the only player in the NBA to average at least 6.5 rebounds and 1.8 steals. Paul received 64 first-team votes after winning his sixth steals title (2.48). Ibaka made his presence felt in the Western Conference finals. After getting beaten twice in San Antonio without him, the Thunder won the next two games on their home court with Ibaka. The Spurs eventually won the series 4-2. Iguodala averaged 1.5 steals as the Warriors jumped from No. 19 in defence in 2012-13 to 10th this season. James and Iguodala each received 57 first-team votes but Iguodala had 14 more second-team votes to edge out James for the final spot on the first team. Houston guard Patrick Beverley, Chicago guard Jimmy Butler, San Antonio forward Kawhi Leonard and Hibbert rounded out the second team. Indiana and Chicago were the only teams with two players on the list, which is selected by a panel of 123 sports writers and broadcasters in the U.S. and Canada. 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