Nadal mauls Monaco in Madrid
Top seed Rafael Nadal produced a resounding win for the loss of just one game against Juan Monaco to reach the third round of the Madrid Open on Wednesday.
The world No 1 failed to advance past the quarter-finals of his last two clay tournaments, but dismissed lingering doubts over his form with a 6-1 6-0 success in the Spanish capital.
Monaco failed to hold serve all match as Nadal rolled off 10 straight games to seal victory in little over an hour on the Manolo Santana centre court.
The 13-time Grand Slam champion, who is hoping to claim his second clay title of the to go with his triumph in Rio de Janeiro, will next meet Jarko
Nieminen after the Finn beat Dutch qualifier Igor Sijsling 6-3 6-2.
"Once it went to 4-1 in the first set I felt I played a lot better and I am happy with the way I felt on court today," Nadal said.
"Each victory helps to raise your confidence. I started a little nervously in my movement. But I got better, and now I just have to prepare for tomorrow."
Nadal is the only top four seed remaining in the men's draw as Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer withdrew due to injury and family reasons respectively, while Stanislas Wawrinka suffered a shock exit to Austrian qualifier Dominic Thiem on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Santiago Giraldo from Colombia upset 11th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4 6-3, while Marin Cilic continued his solid start to the season by dispatching another Frenchman, Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4 1-6 6-2.
Tomas Berdych moved to a perfect 11-0 against opponent Kevin Anderson following his 6-1 6-4 win over the South African.
"I always like to play here. It's a bit faster because of the altitude, which suits my game well and means I can serve well and play aggressively," the sixth-seeded Czech said. "There was also the aspect of the many matches I've played with Kevin and all of them went my way."
The Czech will meet 12th seed Grigor Dimitrov next after the Bulgarian battled past 23-year-old Romanian wildcard Marius Copil 4-6 6-3 7-6 (9-7) in an epic contest.
Polish lucky loser Lukasz Kubot made the most of Federer's withdrawal by beating Frenchman Gilles Simon 7-5 2-6 6-4 and Latvia's Ernests Gulbis also advanced with a 6-3 6-4 win over Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov.
David Ferrer - the next highest remaining seed after Nadal at No 5 - faces John Isner after he overcame Australia's Marinko Matosevic 7-6 (11-9) 6-7 (5-7) 7-5.