Nadal thumps Baghdatis
Madrid - World number one Rafa 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).
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.
Results on the fourth day of the ATP/WTA Madrid Masters (x denotes seeding):
Juan Del Potro (ARG) bt Marin Cilic (CRO) 6-3, 6-0
Xavier Malisse (BEL) bt Lu Yen-Hsun (TPE) 6-2, 6-2
Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) bt Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) 6-1, 6-3
Robin Soderling (SWE x5) bt Santiago Giraldo (COL) 6-3, 6-3
Novak Djokovic (SRB x2) bt Kevin Anderson (RSA) 6-3, 6-4
Tomas Berdych (CZE x7) bt Marcel Granollers (ESP) 6-4, 6-0
Michael Llodra (FRA) bt Flavio Cipolla (ITA) 6-4, 6-2
Thomaz Belluci (BRA) bt Florian Mayer (GER) 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 3-0 retired
Li Na (CHN x6) bt Iveta Benesova (CZE) 6-1, 6-4
Roberta Vinci (ITA) bt Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) 6-2, 6-2
Petra Kvitova (CZE x16) bt Vera Zvonareva (RUS x2) 6-1, 6-4