MADRID (AP) — Rafael Nadal reached the third round of the Madrid Open with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime on Wednesday.
Nadal lost only four points on his serve in the first set and broke Auger-Aliassime three times in the second to close out the match at the “Magic Box.”
The second-ranked Spaniard is trying to rebound from consecutive eliminations in the semifinals of both Monte Carlo and Barcelona, which marked his worst start to the clay-court season in four years.
A five-time champion in Madrid, Nadal will next face American Frances Tiafoe, who defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
The second-seeded Nadal had his practice time reduced ahead of the tournament in Madrid because of a stomach virus.
The 18-year-old Auger-Aliassime is having his breakthrough season on tour, having moved to 30th in the rankings after reaching the final in Rio and the semifinals in Miami.
Earlier, Stan Wawrinka defeated Guido Pella 6-3, 6-4, while Kei Nishikori got past Hugo Dellien 7-5, 7-5.