Nadal, Murray progress in Madrid

Madrid, May 4 (IANS) Spanish No.1 Rafael Nadal enjoyed a comfortable debut in the Mutua Madrid Open here.

The fifth seed, who comes into the Madrid Open on the back of wins in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, had few problems in defeating Andrey Kuznetsov 6-3, 6-3 in one hour and 18 minutes on Tuesday, reports Xinhua.

Reigning champion Andy Murray had to work a bit harder against Radek Stepanek, who he defeated 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-1 in a match which lasted just over two and a half hours.

Stepanek, who had to qualify for Madrid, looked powerful in the first two sets, faded badly in the final set allowing Murray to progress.

In the women’s competition, Spain’s Carla Sanchez made up for Monday’s surprise defeat of number 3 seed Gabine Muguruza as she progressed to the third round 6-3, 6-2 over big hitting German Sabin Lisciki.

Meanwhile, sixth seed Simona Halep had a placid 6-1, 6-1 victory against Italian Karin Knapp in an hour and two minutes.

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