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Rediff.com  » Sports » Indian Wells: Nadal, Federer ease through

Indian Wells: Nadal, Federer ease through

Last updated on: March 12, 2012 10:03 IST

Twice champion Rafa Nadal and triple winner Roger Federer barely raised a sweat as they each cruised into the third round of the Indian Wells ATP tournament with imperious victories on Sunday.

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Rafa NadalSpaniard Nadal ruthlessly dealt with Argentine Leonardo Mayer 6-1, 6-3 before Swiss maestro Federer eased past American wild card Denis Kudla 6-4, 6-1 in the evening session at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

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Left-hander Nadal, who has reached the semi-finals at Indian Wells in his last six appearances, broke Mayer twice in each set to wrap up a commanding win in one hour, 15 minutes.

In dazzling afternoon sunshine, the match ended when a Mayer forehand sailed wide and Nadal removed his green headband in triumph as the near-capacity crowd erupted in applause.

"It's nice to be back playing at the very good level," the Spaniard, who will next face compatriot Marcel Granollers, told reporters. "Winning is the most important thing.

"It's not easy to be back after a while without competition, but I did really well. I started the match very focused, very aggressive. I'm very happy about almost everything."

World No. 3 Federer broke Kudla twice in the opening set and three times in the second to wrap up a one-sided victory in under an hour.

"It's always great to be back at a place where I have played some of my best tennis," the 16-times Grand Slam champion said. "It was a beautiful night and I couldn't be more happy."

In other matches, fifth-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer crushed Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-2, David Nalbandian of Argentina battled past Croat Marin Cilic 7-6, 7-6 and Serb Janko Tipsarevic beat Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 6-4, 6-2.

Sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga advanced when fellow Frenchman Michael Llodra retired hurt because of a knee injury when trailing 4-1.

The big-serving Tsonga will next face Czech Radek Stepanek, who crushed Belgium's Xavier Malisse 6-2, 6-1.

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