Madrid Masters - Nadal crushes Davydenko
Nadal, who came into the match with a perfect 10-0 record on clay this year - with a remarkable 20-0 in sets – further stretched his incredible run on the surface with a convincing victory after having received a bye in the first round.
Davydenko, who took an impressive 6-4 head-to-head lead over Nadal into the encounter, was never able to match his opponent’s power or intensity as he was comfortably defeated in 80 minutes.
It was little surprise to anyone that the opening game of the match went to an extended deuce as both players traded blows from the back of the court before eventually Davydenko fended off the world number two to hold.
But it did not take Nadal long to stamp his authority on proceedings as he broke serve in the third game, unleashing a barrage of ferocious groundstrokes to take control from deuce.
A second break of serve followed in the fifth game to give Nadal an insurmountable lead, and Davydenko had no response to his opponent’s irrepressible play to the delight of the Manolo Santana court crowd.
Nadal, who had won all three of the pair’s previous clay-court meetings, continued to grind Davydenko down with unrelenting power from the back of the court, and the Russian could simply not come to terms with his intensity.
The former world number three managed to hold for a second game, but Nadal closed out the opening set in emphatic fashion with a blistering ace down the T to prompt a huge ovation from his adoring fans.
The second set did not mark a resurgence from the Russian as Nadal immediately seized the initiative once more with a break of serve – including a flurry of inspired forehands – to take complete control.
Two unconvincing service holds from Davydenko ensured that Nadal was not able to completely run away with the set, but the world number two remained very comfortable.
Nadal clinched a second break of serve at 4-2 to move to within a game of victory as Davydenko erred on his first delivery and was ruthlessly punished by his opponent.
It was left for Nadal to serve out for a convincing victory and to seal his 22st set in succession on his favourite surface as he stretched his impressive record on clay this year to 11-0.
Nadal will next take on compatriot Fernando Verdasco, who came from a set down to beat Alejandro Falla of Colombia 6-7(4) 6-4 6-4, in the third round with the second seed seemingly one of the few players to look relatively comfortable on the controversial blue clay.