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Nadal romps past Ivanisevic

April 15, 2004 15:50 IST

Spanish teenager Rafael Nadal blasted past Goran Ivanisevic 6-4, 6-1 to reach the second round of the Estoril Open on Wednesday.

Second seed Nicolas Massu of Chile was another casualty on claycourt tournament's third day, losing 0-6, 7-6, 7-6 to Frenchman Richard Gasquet in a nervy first-round battle, while the top two women's seeds were also eliminated.

Elena Bovina of Russia lost a tight second-round tussle with Spain's Marta Marrero 6-7, 6-4, 6-3 and Australian second seed Alicia Molik went down 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 by Henrieta Nagyova of Slovakia in the first round.

The 17-year-old Nadal, 15 years the junior of Ivanisevic, took an even first set when the Croatian served four double faults in the decisive game.

Nadal ran away with the second set in half an hour, breaking in the second and fifth games with a series of buffeting forehands to complete victory in one hour six minutes.

It was a first tour match on clay for Ivanisevic in nearly three years, following a series of injury problems, and the former Wimbledon champion was satisfied with his performance.

"I had my chances," the 32-year-old said. "If I can compete with Nadal on clay then I compete with anyone.

"He's going to be one of the best players in the world on clay, in my opinion.

"My shoulder was fine so why not carry on playing? It's fun."

There was another excellent victory for Spain, as Marrero held her nerve to beat Bovina in a well-contested three-setter.

"I made a mistake in letting Marrero play her game in the third set," said Bovina.

"My game is about being aggressive and taking risks but I didn't do that. I hope I can learn from the mistake."


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