Sloppy Nadal into Monte Carlo third round
Wednesday 15 April 2009
World number one Rafael Nadal reached the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters today, although his easy-looking 6-2 6-3 win masked a rusty performance against Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela.
The Spaniard, who is gunning for a fifth successive title, a record in the professional era, looked sloppy at times but regained composure when it mattered to wrap up the win after 86 minutes.
Newly-wed Roger Federer, who could face Nadal for a fourth consecutive final at the Monte Carlo Country Club, eased past Italian Andreas Seppi 6-4 6-4.
The second-seeded Swiss appeared very relaxed on a sunbathed centre court, clinching victory on his fourth match point after a final burst from Seppi.
He will next face compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka for a quarter-final spot after the 13th seed beat Argentine Martin Vassallo Arguello 2-6 7-5 6-2.
"I thought I played okay. I had a good stretch at the end of the first set, beginning of the second," Federer told reporters.
"Maybe I could have made it easier for myself in the second. I had some opportunities. He hung in there and I didn't play my best. But still happy I came through so good."
Federer, who married his longtime girlfriend Mirka Vavrinec last weekend, broke in the ninth game and took the opening set with a backhand winner down the line.
Another stunning backhand winner earned him a break in the first game of the second set.
The Swiss dismissed a break point with an angled serve which Seppi returned wide and another long return gave Federer his fifth victory in as many matches against the Italian.
Nadal, who was next on centre court, was not as cool as Federer.
The four-times French Open champion missed several easy shots, including a routine smash at the net that allowed Chela to break back in the second set.
The Spaniard shrugged off a break point at 5-3 in the second set before prevailing on his first match point as a Chela backhand went just wide.
Eighth seed Nikolay Davydenko of Russia also progressed with a 6-4 6-3 win over Croatian Ivo Karlovic and will face Argentine David Nalbandian, who recovered from a set and a break down to see off Spaniard Marcel Granollers 4-6 6-3 6-1.
Italian qualifier Fabio Fognini set up a third-round meeting with Briton Andy Murray after demolishing Croatian 14th seed Marin Cilic 6-2 6-0.
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