Madrid, Spain (Sports Network) - Seeking a third straight title on his
beloved clay, Rafael Nadal was an easy second-round winner on Wednesday, while
Roger Federer was a hard-fought victor at the $4 million Madrid Open, an ATP
World Tour 1000 Masters event.
The second-seeded former No. 1 Nadal blew past former top-five star Nikolay
Davydenko 6-2, 6-2 in 80 minutes on the unusual blue clay surface at Madrid's
Magic Box. Nadal popped six aces and did not allow even one break-point chance
against his overmatched Russian counterpart on Day 4.
The two-time Madrid champion and Spanish hero Nadal lost to Serbian star Novak
Djokovic in last year's marquee finale here.
Nadal holds the record with 20 Masters titles, including one in Monte
Carlo last month. He titled in Madrid in 2005 and 2010 and was the runner-up
here last year and in 2009.
Up next for Nadal will be fellow Spanish lefthander Fernando Verdasco.
Playing his first clay-court match of the year, the third-seeded former No. 1
Federer dropped the first set before fighting back for a 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7-4)
decision against rapidly-rising Canadian Milos Raonic. Playing his first
tennis in a month, Federer needed 2 hours, 13 minutes to advance, as the
powerful Raonic pumped out 21 aces in a losing effort. Both players could
manage only one break of serve in the tight outing.
The two-time Madrid champion and two-time runner-up Federer will battle sweet-
swinging Frenchman Richard Gasquet on Thursday.
Meanwhile, fourth-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga handled American wild
card Ryan Harrison 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) and fifth-seeded Spanish stalwart David
Ferrer topped Czech veteran Radek Stepanek 7-6 (7-4), 6-2. Ferrer was the
clay-court Barcelona runner-up to his compatriot Nadal two weeks ago.
Last week's Estoril titlist Juan Martin del Potro continued his winning ways
with a 6-4, 7-6 (7-1) victory over game former top-10 Russian Mikhail Youzhny.
The 10th-seeded former U.S. Open champion del Potro will face capable Croat
Marin Cilic on Thursday.
Seventh-seeded Serb Janko Tipsarevic squeaked out a 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (6-8), 6-3
victory over Argentine qualifier Federico Delbonis. Tipsarevic smacked 13 aces
in the 2-hour, 35-minute affair.
Eighth-seeded American John Isner was sent packing by the resurgent Cilic, 7-6
(7-4), 7-6 (7-3), while ninth-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon drubbed Spanish
wild card Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-4, 6-3, and 11th-seeded Spanish clay-court
specialist Nicolas Almagro dismissed fellow countryman Marcel Granollers 6-3,
7-6 (7-3). Simon was the Madrid runner-up in 2008. Almagro will tangle with
another fellow Spaniard in Ferrer on Thursday.
In other action involving seeds, No. 12 Frenchman Gael Monfils defeated
Russian qualifier Igor Andreev 6-3, 1-0, retired; a No. 14 Gasquet grounded
Serb Viktor Troicki 7-5, 6-3; a No. 15 Verdasco overcame Colombian qualifier
Alejandro Falla 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 6-4; and No. 16 Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov
cooled off last week's surprise Belgrade champion Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-7
(5-7), 7-6 (7-5), 6-3.
One other second-round result saw Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka douse Austrian
Jurgen Melzer 6-1, 6-4. Wawrinka is rewarded with a third-round match against
the top-ranked and defending Madrid champion Djokovic.
The 2012 Madrid Open titlist will earn $770,000.
The Sports Network