Nadal overcame Rogerio Dutra Silva on Wednesday to reach the last 16 of Barcelona Open.
Andy Murray also advanced due to Bernard Tomic withdrawal.
Nadal beat his Brazilian opponent on his own stadium which has been renamed after him to set up a clash against Kevin Anderson.
Nadal said: “I want to thank everyone who makes this tournament possible, a historic tournament and one of the best of the year. It makes me enormously proud that this court bears my name. It’s a huge honour and hugely satisfying.
“The court was a bit slower than usual because of the rain, but I’m happy, the (tournament) debut is always delicate. Tomorrow I will have to take another step forward against an opponent like Anderson. I’m happy to be in the third round.”