Nadal Rolls to 30th Consecutive Match Win

July 30, 2008 08:30 AM

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal needed only 46 minutes to defeat Frenchman Florent Serra 6-0, 6-1 in his opening round match and extend his career-best winning streak to 30 consecutive matches on Wednesday night.

Nadal, who is coming off his ATP-best seventh title of the year on Sunday at the Rogers Masters in Toronto, improved his season match record to 62-7.

The 22-year-old Spaniard only lost nine points in seven service games and converted five of 11 break points. He never reached deuce on his serve.

"Well, I am very happy to win, to be in third round," said Nadal, who improved to 28-6 on hard courts. "I am happy because, it wasn't a long match. It's important always you are playing a lot of the matches to have one match like this."

Nadal could claim the No. 1 ranking this week if he wins the title and Roger Federer loses before the semifinals.

"Everyone wants to be No. 1, no? Right now I'm focused on this tournament in Cincinnati," added Nadal, who has ranked No. 2 every week since July 25, 2005. "It's a very important tournament. My only goal is continuing playing like what I did in the last four, five months. If I continue like this I going to have a lot of chances for be No. 1? If not, I don't want to be No. 1 because my opponents are very good."

World No. 3 Novak Djokovic reached the third round with a 7-6(2), 7-6(2) victory in one hour and 54 minutes over Italian Simone Bolelli.

The 21-year-old Serb improved his match record to 41-10 on the season, including 20-5 on hard courts with the victory. He will next face another Italian, Andreas Seppi, who came back to beat Czech Republic's Tomas Berdych 5-7, 7-5, 7-5.

Both players held serve throughout the first set, with Djokovic saving all eight break points he faced while Bolelli didn't face a break point. Djokovic saved six break points in the seventh game, coming back from a 0-40 deficit.

In the second set, Djokovic broke to take a 2-1 lead but he lost serve in the next game with four double faults. Bolelli broke again to grab a 4-2 advantage but lost his serve in the next game. Both players held the rest of the set, forcing a tie-break, which Djokovic dominated.

"I had ups and downs with the serve, which I really need to try to be as consistent as I can and to have a high percentage of the first serve," said Djokovic, who saved 10 of 12 break points in the match. "It's important in the matches like this and tournaments like this. This is what actually I didn't do well in Toronto's quarterfinal. I didn't serve well, and that causes a negative outcome and a loss against Murray."

Russian Igor Andreev saved two match points and rallied to defeat big-serving American John Isner 3-6, 7-6(8), 7-5.

Andreev, who won the longest match of the tournament (2:50) on Tuesday night over No. 15 seed Radek Stepanek, saved match points at 6-5 and 8-7 in the second set tie-break. He broke Isner, who fired 27 aces, in the 11th game of the final set, and then closed out the match with his 15th ace.

Andreev will take on countryman and No. 4 Nikolay Davydenko or '02 Cincinnati champion Carlos Moya in the third round.

No. 10 seed Fernando Verdasco of Spain moved into the third round for the first time in five visits with a 7-6(4), 7-6(4) win over Aussie Chris Guccione.

Russian Dmitry Tursunov won for the fourth time in five career meetings as he beat No. 11 seed Richard Gasquet 7-6(8), 6-0.

Tursunov, who converted three of eight break points, never lost serve in the one hour and 17 minute match. He will take on Andy Murray in the third round.

 

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