WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN 2013
Nadal Extends Hard-Court Win Streak
by ATP Staff|
While Novak Djokovic is chasing the Career Golden Masters and Roger Federer an unprecedented sixth Cincinnati title, Rafael Nadal has his sights set on another historic feat this week at the Western & Southern Open. The Spaniard can win a record-tying fifth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title in a season, which would match the mark set by Djokovic two years ago.
"When you change cities, change a little bit of weather, the feelings on the ball is different," said Nadal. "The speed of the court is not exactly the same. It's a little bit slower here than in Montreal. And when you have these kind of tournaments back to back it's not easy, but I'm very happy with the way I played this afternoon and the way that I adapted the game."
Though Becker saved eight break points in his first two service games alone, he fell behind 0-3 to the Spaniard. World No. 3 Nadal broke Becker two more times in the second set, as he went on to extend his hard-court winning streak to 11 matches.
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Nadal, a two-time Cincinnati semi-finalist, will go for his 50th match win of the season when he plays Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in the third round. Nadal has won their two previous meetings, including this past April in the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters quarter-finals.
"He's a great player," said Nadal. "He's a young player. He's really destined to be in the top positions in not a very long period of time. He's doing well, and I had a tough match against him in Monte Carlo this year. He had already tough matches against Murray, Djokovic. He's a player that has great potential. Tomorrow will be a tough match for me, so I have to keep playing this way and play very well."
Sixth seed Tomas Berdych cruised through his opening match, dismissing Finn Jarkko Nieminen 6-3, 6-2 in 67 minutes. He will face Tommy Robredo for a place in the quarter-finals, after the Spaniard advanced with a 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 win over ninth-seeded Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka.
Berdych and Robredo have split their previous eight meetings. Robredo drew level with the Czech in their FedEx ATP Head2Head with victory this past April in Barcelona.