Barcelona - Rafael Nadal began his bid for a record ninth title at the Barcelona
Open on Wednesday with a 7-6 (7/2), 6-4 defeat of journeyman Albert
Ramos with his chances also boosted as four-time finalist David Ferrer
Nadal, the top seed, put his loss last week in the
Monte Carlo quarter-finals to Ferrer out of his mind in a match lasting
just over two hours against compatriot Ramos in a battle of
Nadal's second-round win lifted his record at the event to 41-1.
"It was a positive victory for me," said Nadal.
didn't play my best match, but after the defeat in Monte Carlo, the
next match on court was never going to be easy. I am happy with the way I
fought and proud of the victory today.
"I had to accept that I was going to be made to work today and that I'm not playing at my best level - but I got through it."
spent 64 minutes in claiming the opening set against Ramos, ranked 103,
who also lost to Nadal here in a 2013 quarter-final.
his comfort zone in the second set to secure the win and a Thursday
match against Croatian Ivan Dodig, who hammered Spanish 13th seed
Feliciano Lopez 6-1, 6-4.
Ferrer, 32, lost 6-4, 6-2 to Russian Teimuraz Gabashvili.
"He just played a better match today, there is nothing else to say," said a gracious Ferrer.
"He had more power in his shots. I had some chances at the end of the first set but I couldn't take them.
I lost serve early in the second things got even worse. I felt fine on
the court and was prepared physically and mentally."
Ferrer was defeated at the same stage, going out to Dmitry Tursunov
after losing a quartet of finals to Nadal over the years in the Catalan
Gabashvili won the opening set in 44 minutes with a break
in the final game, when Ferrer hit the net trying to return a forehand
The Spaniard was able to convert on only one of six break points in the opener as his opponent successfully defended.
the second, the challenger did not let up, breaking the unsteady Ferrer
for 2-0 and finishing off the upset as he broke Ferrer to win it on a
second match point, with the Spaniard putting a forehand long into the
Gabashvili, ranked 55th, is playing in Barcelona for the eighth time and had never got further than the second round.
"I knew I had to be steady and in control, and I managed to do that," said the winner. "This is my best win ever."
went down in 80 minutes, converting only one of eight break point
chances while losing his own serve four times and serving four double
The victory was the best for Gabashvili since upsetting Andy Roddick in the third round of the French Open four years ago.
Spaniards advanced, with sixth seed Nicolas Almagro beating Slovak
Martin Klizan 7-5, 7-6 (7/4) and Albert Montanes defeating eighth seed
Alexandr Dolgopolov of the Ukraine 7-6 (7/5), 6-3.
"It was a tough match, he gets a lot of balls back and makes life difficult," Montanes said.
playing well and my confidence is high, it's a good moment for me. The
secret right now seems to be in good mental preparation."
Results on the third day of the ATP Barcelona Open on Wednesday (x denotes seeding):
Albert Montanes (ESP) bt Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR x8) 7-6 (7/5), 6-3
Nicolas Almagro (ESP x6) bt Martin Klizan (SVK) 7-5, 7-6 (7/4)
Ivan Dodig (CRO) bt Feliciano Lopez (ESP x13) 6-1, 6-4
Teimuraz Gabashvili (RUS) bt David Ferrer (ESP x2) 6-4, 6-2
Santiago Giraldo (CHI) bt Fabio Fognini (ITA x3) 6-0, 4-0, retired
Jurgen Melzer (AUT) bt Jerzy Janowicz (POL x7) 6-4, 7-6 (7/1)
Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) bt Albert Ramos (ESP) 7-6 (7/2), 6-4
Fernando Verdasco (ESP x11) bt Kenny De Schepper (FRA) 6-4, 6-3
Marin Cilic (CRO x12) bt Alex Kuznetsov (RUS) 6-1, 7-6 (7/2)