Tennis: Classy Nadal up and running in Barcelona

Defending champion Rafael Nadal began his quest for a 10th Barcelona Open title with a typically classy 6-1 6-2 beating of Rogerio Dutra Silva on Wednesday.

The Spaniard, fresh off winning a 50th clay-court title in Monte Carlo last weekend, continued to dazzle on the red surface as a series of powerful forehand winners and deft touches at the net proved too good for an opponent ranked 64 places below him.

To Dutra Silva's credit, he played his part in an entertaining match, that was heavily delayed on a rainy day in Barcelona, but Nadal was always a league above en route to booking a third-round meeting with Kevin Anderson.

Nadal was at his irresistible best from the start, landing with his trademark fierce forehands and Dutra Silva surrendered serve at the first time of asking when playing a forehand into the net.

A delicious drop shot brought up a 3-0 lead and, although Dutra Silva was on the board in game four, it was a 5-1 double-break advantage thanks to another stinging forehand that dropped right on the baseline.

The Spaniard served out the set, but a rare blip - thanks largely to some aggressive ball striking from Dutra Silva - saw him fall to a 2-0 deficit in the second.

But Nadal in no time had Dutra Silva on the run again and started to punish his opponent with some big blows - including a scarcely believable forehand from a seemingly impossible angle - that had Nadal in the ascendancy.

And, in no time, Nadal had won six straight games to clinch his progression.

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