Nadal extends clay winning streak to 68

Apr 25, 2007 - 10:52 PM BARCELONA, Spain (Ticker) -- Rafael Nadal has won the last three titles at Monte Carlo. Now the Spanish lefthander has his sights set on a "threepeat" in the Open Seat.

Nadal extended his claycourt winning streak to 68 matches with an emphatic 6-1, 6-2 victory over Kristof Vliegen of Belgium on Wednesday.

Continuing his preparation for the French Open, the top-seeded Nadal will face Thomas Johansson in the third round of the $1.16 million event.

Nadal didn't even lose a set in dominating at Monte Carlo and picked up where he left off here in his first match, losing just four points on his serve.

Vliegen held serve in the first game of the match, but Nadal proceeded to win the next seven games, including 15 consecutive points on serve. Vliegen was also punished on his second serve, losing 13 of 16 points.

Nadal improved his career record to 12-1 in Barcelona with his only loss coming to countryman Alex Corretja in the second round in 2003. He is looking to join Mats Wilander (1982-84) as players to win this event three times.

A Spaniard has captured the Barcelona title the last four years and five of the last six.

Nadal beat world No. 1 Roger Federer in straight sets in Sunday's Monte Carlo final. He has not lost on clay since falling to Russia's Igor Andreev in the quarterfinals of the 2005 Valencia Open.

Johansson beat fellow Swede Robin Soderling in a pair of tiebreaks, 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-2).

Second-seeded Nikolay Davydenko of Russia needed three sets to earn his first win of the claycourt season with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 victory over Russian qualifier Yuri Schukin.

Ranked fourth in the world, Davydenko is trying to reach an ATP quarterfinal for the first time in five tournaments.

Davydenko will face Italian Filippo Volandri in the third round. Volandri upset 14th-seeded Nicolas Almagro, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 6-1 on Wednesday.

Fifth-seeded David Ferrer of Spain was flawless in a 6-0, 6-0 victory over American Paul Goldstein in a third-round match.

Ferrer will next meet Serbian Boris Pashanski, who defeated Andrei Pavel of Romania, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.

No. 16 Carlos Moya rallied to beat fellow Spaniard Felix Mantilla, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 and will face fourth-seeded David Nalbandian of Argentina in the third round. Nalbandian beat Alberto Martin of Spain on Tuesday.

Moya, who won the title here in 2003, has lost in the finals at Sydney and Acapulco this season.

Sixth-seeded Jarkko Nieminen of Finland advanced with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Italian Andreas Seppi, but seventh-seeded Juan Carlos Ferrero was forced to retire from his second-round match due to a stomach illness.

Nieminen next will face unseeded Spaniard Oscar Henriquez, who beat German Benjamin Becker, 6-1, 7-6 (7-4).

Ferrero lost two of the first three games against Spanish qualifier Pablo Andujar before retiring.

After receiving a tremendous break, Andujar will face No. 12 Guillermo Canas of Argentina in the next round. Canas beat Jiri Vanek of the Czech Republic, 6-1, 6-1.

Eighth-seeded Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina advanced with a 6-3, 6-3 win over American Vince Spadea. Chela next faces Italian Potito Starace, who beat countryman Simone Bolelli, 6-4, 6-3.






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