Rafael Nadal brought his winning form to the Barcelona Open BancSabadell. Last week’s Monte-Carlo champion dismissed fellow Spaniard Marcel Granollers 6-3, 6-2 in 91 minutes in the second round on Wednesday. Nadal, who had won 41 consecutive matches in Barcelona between 2005 and 2014, is seeking a ninth title at the event.
“Marcel started very strongly and broke me in the first game. It was a difficult match, very windy, which made his game tough to read. He took the initiative from the beginning,” Nadal told BarcelonaOpenBancSabadell.com. “I am playing really well. It was a complicated first round against a player who had just reached the quarter-finals in Monte Carlo, beating three good rivals.”
Nadal, No. 5 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, was broken in the opening game by Granollers, but struck back with two breaks of serve to take the opening set. The left-hander continued to overwhelm the unseeded Granollers with his power and court coverage in the second set, breaking Granollers twice while not facing a break point. In the match, Nadal won 49 per cent (28/57) of return points. He improved to 4-0 in the FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry against his countryman and is now 10-2 on clay this year.
Next up for the top seed is another Spaniard. Wild card Albert Montanes defeated Joao Sousa 6-1, 6-3 to book a third-round meeting with Nadal. He had never won a set against Nadal in three previous tour-level encounters.