Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Nadal rolls to straight-set win at US Open

August 30. 2013 12:36AM
Associated Press

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(AP) Rafael Nadal laughed when asked if his serve was reaching the level it was at in 2010, when he got broken a grand total of twice over his first six matches en route to his only U.S. Open title.

"No, I don't think so," he said.

Maybe not, but it's certainly been good enough to make his first two matches of 2013 at Flushing Meadows a breeze.

Nadal saved the only break point against him Thursday night in a 6-2, 6-1, 6-0 rout over qualifier Rogerio Dutra Silva. He'll head into the third round still not having lost his serve in the tournament and still undefeated on hard courts, at 17-0, this season.

"In Montreal, Cincinnati, I was able to serve well, to lose very few serves," he said about the tune-up events he won before heading to New York. "So, important thing is try to find a regular serve that gives me the confidence and that gives me the possibility to start a lot of points with an advantage."

Dutra Silva's lone break point came in the second game of the second set. Nadal took him off the court with a wide serve to his backhand that the Brazilian put back into the net. Nadal won the next two points to close out the first of 12 straight games he captured to close the match. He was on court a total of 1 hour, 32 minutes.

Dutra Silva's road to the second round of this, his ninth career Grand Slam match, caught Nadal's eye.

The 134th-ranked Brazilian won a third-set tiebreaker in his final qualifying match, then saved seven match points in his first-round match against Vasek Pospisil before pulling it out in a 12-10, fifth-set tiebreaker.

He made Nadal work for it for the first half hour or so, but eventually the 12-time major champion wore him down.

Next up for Nadal, a third-round match against Ivan Dodig, who won their only previous matchup on hard court, pulling out back-to-back tiebreakers in 2011 in Montreal.

"He's a very aggressive opponent, good serve, very good backhand, he goes to the net," Nadal said. "He's a tough one. I need to be playing my best if I want to have chances against him."

Associated Press

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