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Nadal Untroubled In Opener

Madrid, Spain

Nadal© AFP/Getty ImagesRafael Nadal is on an 11-match winning streak.

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal was untroubled in his opening second-round match at the Mutua Madrid Open on Wednesday, dismissing Nikolay Davydenko 6-2, 6-2 at La Caja Magica.

Nadal went into the clash with Davydenko with a losing 4-6 FedEx ATP Head2Head record, but came through in 80 minutes as he broke serve four times from nine opportunities and won 77 per cent of points on serve.

"I played much better than I expected," said Nadal. "I am very happy to be in the third round and tomorrow I will probably have a very difficult match against [Fernando] Verdasco."

The Spaniard, who triumphed at this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament on hard court in 2005 (d. Ljubicic) and on clay in 2010 (d. Federer), has a 25-7 event record. He surrendered his title last year as he was beaten in the final by Novak Djokovic.

The 25-year-old left-hander is on an 11-match winning streak, having opened the European clay-court swing with back-to-back titles at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters (d. Djokovic) and the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell (d. Ferrer).

Nadal's next opponent, fellow Spanish left-hander Verdasco, battled past Colombia’s Alejandro Falla 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and 45 minutes. The 15th-seeded Madrid native was beaten by Nadal two weeks ago in the Barcelona semi-finals and trails his countryman 13-0 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

World No. 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga bounced back from his opening-round loss last week in Munich as he held on for a 6-2, 7-6(4) win over American Ryan Harrison. Tsonga did not face any break points on serve during the one hour, 21-minute match.

Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov came from a set down to defeat last week’s Belgrade champion Andreas Seppi 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 6-3 in two hours and 14 minutes. The 16th seed fired 15 aces and broke serve four times as he notched his 14th victory of the season.

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