Barcelona, Spain – Spain's Rafael Nadal kicked off his bid for a seventh Barcelona Open title with a comfortable 6-1, 6-2 second-round victory Wednesday over countryman Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
Nadal, brimming with confidence after capturing his eighth-straight Monte Carlo Rolex Masters title with a victory over nemesis Novak Djokovic in Sunday's final, set the tone by breaking his opponent's serve in the first game of the match and never looked back.
Garcia-Lopez offered a bit of resistance when he broke the world No. 2's serve in the fifth game of the second set, briefly extending a match that Nadal had under control at all times.
"I made very few errors. I hit my backhand well and my forehand gave me variety to my game that helped a lot," Nadal said in the post-match press conference, adding that he was wary of Garcia-Lopez because he lost a match to him in Thailand in 2010.
The Spaniard also commented on a nagging knee injury that has bothered him in recent weeks and which forced him to withdraw from a hard-court event in Miami late last month.
Nadal rebounded quickly to win the Monte Carlo event last week, breaking a seven-match skid against Djokovic by defeating the Serbian world No. 1 in the final.
"My knee bothered me a little bit (on Wednesday) but it's normal. The pain's not going to go away in two weeks, but as long as it doesn't restrict you and lets you play there's no problem," Nadal said.
The Spaniard, who has now won 30 consecutive matches at the Barcelona Open dating back to 2005, will next take on the winner of a second-round match between Spain's Pablo Andujar and Colombia's Robert Farah.
In other action Wednesday, world No. 6 David Ferrer of Spain rolled to a 6-0, 6-3 win over Serbia's Filip Krajinovic.
In the post-match press conference, the 30-year-old said a victory at this event would be a perfect climax to his career.
"It's very special for me. It's the one I'm most dreaming about. For me, (the Barcelona Open) is my top priority and winning here would be the icing on the cake for my career," Ferrer said.
The third seed will next play countryman Albert Montañes, who defeated up-and-coming Australian Bernard Tomic 6-0, 5-7, 7-5 on Wednesday.
In other second-round action Wednesday, Spain's Albert Ramos defeated Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-3, 7-5, Argentina's Eduardo Schwank lost to Finland's Jarkko Nieminen 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 6-4 and Colombia's Santiago Giraldo got past the Netherlands' Robin Haase 6-4, 6-3.
The Barcelona Open is one of the biggest clay-court events on the ATP calendar and a key tune-up for the French Open, which gets underway in late May.