Nadal bounces back with Barcelona win
Rafael Nadal may have lost his coveted Monaco crown on Sunday but that defeat was soon forgotten as the Spaniard set about another title defence in Barcelona.
The 26-year-old "King of Clay" began his hunt for an eighth Barcelona Open title with a swift victory over Argentine Carlos Berlocq.
Nadal broke the world number 63 four times on his way to a straightforward 6-4 6-2 win to cruise into the third round.
The red clay of Barcelona is another happy hunting ground for Nadal. He has won 35 straight matches at the event; his last defeat was handed out by fellow Spaniard Alex Corretia 10 years ago.
World number one Novak Djokovic became the last men to conquer Nadal on his favourite surface when he beat him in the final of the Monte Carlo Masters -- a tournament Nadal had won eight times and described as his favourite event.
Despite his dominance in Barcelona, the world number five was not given number one status at the event, instead fellow Spaniard David Ferrer was named as the number one seed.
But his top billing proved to be a curse as the Spaniard crashed out 7-5 3-6 6-1 in the second round to Russian Dmitry Tursunov.
"I did not feel well on the court today," Ferrer, who is a four-time runner-up in Barcelona, told reporters. "It was the worst match that I've played in the last couple of years.
"I lost the third set too fast. He was better and more aggressive. I just did not feel good."
Ferrer was playing for the first time since injuring his thigh in the final of the Miami Masters, which he lost to British world number three Andy Murray.
The Barcelona Open presents another opportunity for Nadal, and his fellow clay-court specialists, to tune-up for the French Open which begins on May 26.
Nadal, who has a 271-21 record on clay, is aiming to extend his record number of titles at Roland Garros, the second grand slam of the year, to eight in 2013.
"It was not very comfortable and it affected my game," Nadal told reporters ahead of his third round tie with Frenchman Benoit Paire.
"I don't want to talk about being a title favorite, I'm just very happy to be playing well and into the third round."I'm not looking ahead."
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