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Nadal breezes through opener

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:28

Clay king Nadal, making his first appearance at the new-look tournament having received a first-round bye, needed only 61 minutes to see off Austrian Melzer 6-3 6-1 and continue his remarkable record on this surface.

Nadal has now won 31 successive matches on clay and overall has an astonishing 148-4 record on the dirt in the last five years, including winning 25 of his 26 finals.

This year he has dropped only one of 36 sets on clay and he did not look like letting number two slip away today as he swept aside Melzer with an accomplished performance on the centre court at the newly-built La Caja Magica.

“I think it’s been a very positive debut, at first it was hard for me to break but he made two mistakes and I was able to recover and I think I had a good game,” he said.

Nadal next faces German Philipp Kohlschreiber, who recorded an upset win over 13th seed Marin Cilic 6-1 6-7 (5/7) 7-6 (7/2) in his second-round match.

Joining Nadal in the next round was third seed Novak Djokovic. Djokovic, who was this week replaced in the top three of the world rankings by Andy Murray, defeated Spanish wild card Oscar Hernandez 6-3 6-3 to continue where he left off at the Serbian Open, which he won at the weekend.

The 21-year-old Serbian will next play Italian Andreas Seppi, who defeated American Sam Querrey 6-3 4-6 6-4.

The other seeds to get through in the men’s section were Juan Martin Del Potro (five), Andy Roddick (six), last year’s runner-up Gilles Simon (eight), Nikolay Davydenko (10th), Stanislas Wawrinka (11) and James Blake (14).

However, there were some casualties in the second round, with 12th-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer losing 6-4 6-4 to qualifier Juan Monaco.

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