MADRID − Rafael Nadal won his first match on the blue clay at the Madrid Open on Wednesday, defeating Nikolay Davydenko 6-2, 6-2 in the second round. Nadal had little trouble on the surface that he criticized this week as soft and slippery, hitting six aces.
“The [blue] court ... doesn’t make you feel comfortable,” nadal said. “It’s difficult, hard to attack and come back to defend.”
In the women’s tournament, defending champion Petra Kvitova lost to Lucie Hradecka 6-4, 6-3.
Nadal, who broke his Russian opponent four times to advance to the third round, will meet Fernando Verdasco. The Spaniard defeated Alejandro Falla of Colombia 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4.
The third-seeded Kvitova struggled with her serve against Hradecka; both are of the Czech Republic. Kvitova was broken five times by Hradecka, who will face Ekaterina Makarova in the third round. Makarova beat Maria Kirilenko of Russia 6-4, 6-4 to advance.
Li Na of China and Samantha Stosur of Australia both reached the quarterfinals along with Agnieszka Radwanska, who routed Sara Errani 6-0, 6-1 and ended the Italian’s 16-match winning streak.
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