Rafael Nadal opens Madrid Open campaign with impressive win

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Madrid, Spain (4E Sports) – Top seed Rafael Nadal started his quest for a fourth Mutua Madrid Open title with a 6-1, 6-0 triumph over Juan Monaco in the second round.

The Spaniard converted six of 10 break points in the 69-minute victory to improve his record to 684-134, surpassing Arthur Ashe’s 683-225 mark.

Now at 11th place, Nadal must surpass Boris Becker’s 713 wins to enter the Top 10 in the all-time list.

“No matter how many victories I’ve had, I’m very happy that I can be compared to Ashe,” shared Nadal. “To be on the same level with [a person] like him, it’s always a great satisfaction for me.”

Nadal, a 26-time ATP World Tour Masters 1000 champion, next faces Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen, a 6-3, 6-2 winner over Igor Sijsling. The 27-year-old Nadal has not lost in seven matches against his 32-year-old opponent.

In other matches, ninth seed John Isner needed two hours and 38 minutes to overcome Marinko Matosevic, 7-6(9), 6-7(5), 7-5 in their second-round battle.

Isner served 23 aces and won 79 percent of first-serve points against the Australian in their first meeting to arrange a clash with fifth seed David Ferrer.

Tomas Berdych improved to 11-0 lifetime against tall South African Kevin Anderson with a 6-1, 6-4 victory while Colombian Santiago Giraldo knocked out 11th-seeded Frenchman Jo- Wilfried Tsonga, 6-4, 6-3.

Other winners were Grigor Dimitrov, Feliciano Lopez, Lukasz Kubot, Ernests Gulbis, Marin Cilic.

On the women’s side of the tournament, reigning two-time champion Serena Williams cruised to the third round with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Peng Shuai.

Williams third-round opponent will be surging Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro, who defeated Alison Riske, 6-2, 6-4

Third-seeded Polish star Agnieszka Radwanska joined Williams in the round of 16 by outlasting two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-3, 4-6, 8-6 (8-6).

Other winners were Simona Halep, Lara Arruabarrena, Roberta Vinci and Caroline Garcia.


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