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Nadal buoyant in Japan Open

October 04, 2011 17:58 IST

Rafa Nadal overpowered qualifier Go Soeda 6-3, 6-2 as he began the defence of his Japan Open title in a blur of swashbuckling winners on Tuesday.

The top seed produced some dazzling shot-making under floodlights in Tokyo, taking the first set with a jaw-dropping backhand lob at full stretch with Japanese Soeda marooned at the net.

Nadal, sweat dripping from his purple T-shirt, kept his foot on the gas in the second and the Spaniard teed up match point with a superb running forehand down the line.

Rafael NadalThe World No.2 swiftly ended proceedings, ripping another forehand deep into the corner to trigger a stampede as fans rushed from their seats for the chance of an autograph.

"It was important to win but I need to spend more time on court," said Nadal, returning to Japan after helping Spain reach the Davis Cup final.

"The balls felt a little bit heavy so it was difficult to hit my top spin," the 10-times grand slam champion said. "But maybe it will get better playing day matches."

Nadal next faces big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic who beat Japan's Yuichi Sugita 6-7, 6-3, 7-6 in his first match since undergoing hip surgery after Wimbledon.

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