Nadal thumps Baghdatis in Madrid

Rafael Nadal of Spain serves the ball to Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus during their Madrid Open tennis...

Rafael Nadal of Spain serves the ball to Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus during their Madrid Open tennis match May 4, 2011. (REUTERS/Juan Medina)

REUTERS

, Last Updated: 4:07 AM ET

World number one Rafael Nadal began his quest for a third clay title in less than a month with a 6-1 6-3 drubbing of unseeded Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis in the Madrid Open second round on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old Spaniard, who won back-to-back tournaments in Monte Carlo and Barcelona last month, did not face a single break point on his serve and converted his first match point when he whipped a trademark forehand winner down the line.

The victory took his record on the red dust since 2005 to 187 wins and only six defeats and set up a last-16 meeting against Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro.

The resurgent former world number four and 2009 U.S. Open champion dismissed Croat Marin Cilic 6-3 6-0 as he continued his comeback from a wrist injury.

World number two Novak Djokovic maintained his blistering start to 2011 with a 6-3 6-4 second-round victory over unseeded South African Kevin Anderson.

The Australian Open champion has won all 28 matches this season and is closing in on Ivan Lendl's 29 victories at the start of the 1986 campaign, the third best on record after John McEnroe in 1984 (42) and Bjorn Borg in 1980 (33).

"It's a great honor and very flattering to be part of that elite but it's not my priority," the 23-year-old Serbian, who has won five titles this year, told a news conference.

"I am just taking each match at a time and hoping I can win," he added.

"It's kind of a surprise but I always believed that I have the quality to beat any player.

"I am a more mature player and I have more self-belief which is very important for this level."

MARATHON MATCH

Djokovic, who will play unseeded Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez for a place Friday's quarter-finals, made his last appearance at the Madrid Open in 2009.

He held three match points against Nadal in the semi-finals before losing 3-6 7-6 7-6 in a contest that lasted a record four hours and three minutes.

Fifth-seeded Swede Robin Soderling, the last man to beat Nadal on clay, in the fourth round at Roland Garros in 2009, advanced with a 6-3 6-3 victory over Colombian Santiago Giraldo, while Tomas Berdych, the Czech seventh seed, saw off Spanish wildcard Marcel Granollers 6-4 6-0.

Roger Federer and Andy Murray, the third and fourth seeds, play Feliciano Lopez and Gilles Simon respectively in second- round matches later on Wednesday.


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