Nadal shakes off rust with win at Indian Wells

Updated: 12 March 2012 08:33 IST

Rafael Nadal, playing in his first event since his runner-up finish at the Australian Open, routed Leonardo Mayer 6-1, 6-3 in his Indian Wells opener on Sunday.

Nadal shakes off rust with win at Indian Wells

Indian Wells:

Rafael Nadal, playing in his first event since his runner-up finish at the Australian Open, routed Leonardo Mayer 6-1, 6-3 in his Indian Wells opener on Sunday.


Two-time Indian Wells champ Nadal cruised through his second round match at the ATP/WTA hardcourt tournament, winning the final eight points of the 75 minute match on centre court.

"It's fantastic. I am happy to start with a victory," world number two Nadal said. "I am taking it day by day."

Nadal advanced to the third round, where he will face fellow Spaniard Marcel Granollers, who beat Tommy Haas of Germany 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.

The left-handed Spaniard hit one ace, posted two double faults and won four of six break point chances.

Nadal broke Mayer twice in a 29-minute first set. He then served flawlessly in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead in the second set before breaking Mayer in the final game. Nadal celebrated his win after Mayer hammered a forehand long and wide.

"It's not easy to be back after awhile without competition, but I believe I did really well," Nadal said. "I started the match very focussed, very aggressive. Today the only thing I can say is I'm very happy. I'm very happy about almost everything."

It marked Nadal's first match since losing to world number one Novak Djokovic in a monumental five hour, 53 minute final at the Australian Open.

No. 9 seeded Juan Martin del Potro defeated Australia's Marinko Matosevic 7-5, 6-2 in their second round match.

Argentine's del Potro, who has reached the quarter-finals in all five events he has played in 2012, had three aces and won 79 percent of his first-serve points.

On the women's side, Li Na snapped a four-match losing streak to Chinese compatriot Zheng Jie with a 6-1, 6-3 win in the third round.

French Open champ Li had a losing streak against Zheng dating back to the first time they met on the WTA Tour in 2004 in Beijing. This also marked the first time they faced each other in six years. Li said she is a much different player now.

"I am so happy because it is the first time I have beat her," Li said. "The last meeting was six years ago, so in six years many things can change."



Topics : Tennis Rafael Nadal
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