• Madrid Open

Nadal crushes Davydenko in Madrid

ESPN staff
May 9, 2012
Rafael Nadal was at his brilliant best against Nikolay Davydenko © Getty Images
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Rafael Nadal enjoyed a fine day in the Spanish sun as he eased to a 6-2 6-2 win over Nikolay Davydenko at the Madrid Open.

Much has been made of the controversial blue clay and some players' inability to adapt to it, but Nadal looked totally at home as he disposed of the Russian for the loss of four games.

The world No. 2 worked an early break of serve and never looked back. His movement was slick and assured, allowing him to hit with authority on both wings.

He eased through the first set and a booming forehand secured a break at the start of the second.

Davydenko came into the contest having won his last four matches against Nadal, but there was never any chance of that being extended and it was appropriate that a booming forehand sealed the victory.

David Ferrer, seeded fifth, was made to grind out the first set before cruising to a 7-6(4) 6-2 victory over the Czech Republic's Radek Stepanek. Ferrer knew he was in for a battle after being taken to five sets in the pair's last two clay-court meetings, and it quickly became apparent he was in for a rough ride in this one.

With both players' service in good order there were limited openings in the first set, with Stepanek squandering the only break point on offer. Ferrer dug deep to pinch the tiebreak, before the Spaniard raised his level significantly to break his opponent twice for a morale-boosting win.

John Isner will have to wait for a fourth career title after the eighth seed was sent tumbling by Marin Cilic. Isner fired 14 aces during the contest but, although he was never broken, the American dropped points in the tiebreaks as the unseeded Croat won through 7-6(4) 7-6(3).

Twelfth seed Gael Monfils was leading Russia's Igor Andreev 6-3 1-0 when the qualifier was forced to retire on account of injury, while Fernando Verdasco rallied from a set down to beat Alejandro Falla.

Monfils was joined in the third round by his fellow Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who battled to a 6-2 76(4) win over Ryan Harrison, while Alexandr Dolgopolov needed three sets to beat Andreas Seppi.

Richard Gasquet was another Frenchman to progress as he edged out Viktor Troicki, while Stanislas Wawrinka beat Jurgen Melzer to set up a clash with Novak Djokovic.

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