Madrid Open: Rafael Nadal gets back to winning ways with victory over Juan Monaco

Rafael Nadal took the first step towards easing his clay-court jitters with a thumping victory over Juan Monaco at the Mutua Madrid Open.

Nadal arrived in the Spanish capital with greater doubts over his clay dominance than at any time since he was a teenager after quarter-final losses in both Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

He was far from convincing to start with against Monaco but the Argentinian could find nothing to hurt Nadal and the world number one ran out a 6-1 6-0 winner.

Nadal was very happy with his performance, saying: "I think I moved better and played well. I was dominating over the points and playing very well. I think I've done positive things."

In the third round Nadal will face Finn Jarkko Nieminen, who defeated qualifier Igor Sijsling 6-3 6-2.

Sixth seed Tomas Berdych maintained his winning hold over Kevin Anderson with a 6-1 6-4 victory against the South African.

Remarkably it was their 11th meeting in just over two years, all of which have been won by Berdych.

The Czech next meets 12th seed Grigor Dimitrov, who was given a very tough time by wild card Marius Copil before coming through 4-6 6-3 7-6 (9/7).

Ninth seed John Isner was also involved in a long three-setter, squeezing past Marinko Matosevic 7-6 (11/9) 6-7 (5/7) 7-5.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's struggles continued as he lost 6-4 6-3 to Colombia's Santiago Giraldo, who next plays seventh seed Andy Murray.

Spaniard Feliciano Lopez upset 15th seed Mikhail Youzhny while there were also wins for Ernests Gulbis, Marin Cilic and Lukasz Kubot.

In the women's event, top seed and defending champion Serena Williams eased to a 6-2 6-3 victory over Peng Shuai despite heavy strapping on her left thigh.

Third seed Agnieszka Radwanska had a much tougher time in reaching the third round.

The Pole had to save three match points when she trailed 3-6 in a deciding tie-break against Svetlana Kuznetsova before recovering to win 6-3 4-6 7-6 (8/6).

Fourth seed Simona Halep saw off Laura Arruabarrena 6-4 6-4 and next faces Sabine Lisicki but Caroline Wozniacki is out after a knee injury hampered her in a 6-3 6-3 loss to Roberta Vinci.

Home favourite Carla Suarez Navarro set up a meeting with Williams by beating Alison Riske while Frenchwoman Caroline Garca is through to round three without completing a match.

Her first-round opponent Angelique Kerber withdrew midway through their match while Maria Kirilenko did not even take to the court for Wednesday's clash because of a wrist injury.

Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreEXCLUSIVE The Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Colombia's James Rodriguez celebrates one of his goals during the FIFA World Cup 2014 round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Antoine Griezmann has started two of France’s four games so far
Life and Style
techYahoo Japan launches service to delete your files and email your relatives when you die
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Arts and Entertainment
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>
filmRobert Downey Jr named Hollywood's highest paid actor for second year running
Life and Style
Dale Bolinger arranged to meet the girl via a fetish website
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor