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Nadal begins with a bang in Barcelona

sports Updated: Apr 26, 2012 01:49 IST
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Rafael Nadal began his title defence at the Barcelona Open on Wednesday with a 6-1, 6-2 defeat of compatriot Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, who had defeated the king of clay two years ago in Thailand.

Top seed Nadal, champion at the Real Club de Tenis in six of the last seven editions — he missed 2010 with knee trouble — claimed his 30th match victory in a row at his home event.

Nadal didn't have it his way but the top seed eventually finished the job with some slight difficulty after Garcia-Lopez saved a match point with a forehand in the final game.

Nadal picked up where he had left off on his favourite surface last weekend when he won an historic eighth consecutive trophy in Monte Carlo, ending a seven-match loss streak to Novak Djokovic. Nadal was joined in the third round by friend and compatriot David Ferrer as the third seed crushed Serbian wild card Filip Krajinovic 6-0, 6-3.

Meanwhile, Djokovic has pulled out of the Serbia Open tennis following the death of his grandfather.