Barcelona Open: Nadal beats Nicolas Almagro

Tennis Updates:

8-time champion Rafael Nadal managed to make amends for last year’s defeat by Nicolas Almagro after securing a victory over his fellow Spaniard in round 2 of the Barcelona Open.

Nadal, who had a bye in the 1st round, won 6-3 6-1 to make up for his loss in the 2014 quarter-finals.

He is now set to meet 13th seed Fabio Fognini from Italy, who beat Russian qualifier Andrey Rublev with 3-6 6-4 6-1.

Marin Cilic – the US Open champion lost 6-4 6-4 to Victor Estrella Burgos.

4th seed Cilic was playing only his 3rd tournament of the season after recovering from a shoulder injury, and said: “I was not too happy with the way I played. “I made a lot of unforced errors. I feel I still need several matches to get my form to a good stage.”

Nadal, 28, broke serve 5 times as he comfortably saw off Almagro, who is battling back after suffering a foot surgery.

“I had today’s match more or less under control and I think I made very few errors,” said Nadal, the second seed.

“It was the first match of the week against someone who beat me last year and for whom I have maximum respect.”

”The ups and downs that I had to start his season, I didn’t have here. I played at a good rhythm throughout, and that is promising,” Nadal said. ”I only need a little more velocity on my drive, but for the first day I have to be satisfied.”

”I had in mind that I was playing against a rival who beat me here last year, and that was a plus,” Nadal said.

”As a rival in the first round, it was the worst that I could have drawn. This was very positive, 6-3, 6-1 is a commanding win.”

Spain’s 3rd seed David Ferrer brushed saw off compatriot Albert Montanes 6-2 6-3, while Sweden’s Elias Ymer upset Wimbledon quarter-finalist – and fellow 19-year-old – Nick Kyrgios 2-6 7-5 7-6 (8-6).

Top seed Kei Nishikori is scheduled to play Santiago Giraldo in the 3rd round on Thursday.

Almagro upset Nadal on the same red clay court last year to end the 8-time champion’s run of 41 consecutive wins at the tournament in which he has dominated for almost a decade.

Nadal next faces Fabio Fognini after the Italian rallied to beat Russian teenager Andrey Rublev 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Nicolas Almagro vs Rafael Nadal, 22/04/2015, 13:30 GMT, Match Center

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