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Moodie hoping for clay feat

South Africa’s Wesley Moodie takes to the clay court at the ATP Rome Masters today in a second round doubles match, knowing that victory will ease him and his Belgian partner Dick Norman into the quarter-finals.

Moodie and Norman, the fifth seeds, meet the unseeded Spaniards Nicolas Almagro and Marcel Granoller, with the imposing Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike, awaiting the winners in the quarter-finals.

The 31-year-old Moodie ÔÇô currently ranked No9 in the world in doubles ÔÇô has his sights set on representing South Africa at the London 2012 Olympics, and he has fond memories of England’s capital city, having come from relative obscurity to win the Wimbledon doubles crown in 2005.

Moodie and Norman received a bye in the first round, while their Spanish opponents today will be no pushovers; Almagro and Granoller came through in straight sets against their highly-rated countrymen Feliciano Lopez (the reigning SA Open singles champion) and Davis Cup hero Feliciano Lopez.

In singles action, Spain’s Rafael Nadal remains on course to retain his Rome Masters title after sweeping aside Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-1 6-3 to reach the third round.