INDIAN WELLS // Rafa Nadal, the world No 1, romped into the third round of the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday with a crushing 6-2, 6-1 victory over the German Michael Berrer. The Spaniard made mincemeat out of the world No 112, marching through in just 67 minutes.
Champion Novak Djokovic had a harder time of it before beating Martin Vassallo Arguello of Argentina 7-5, 6-4, while the sixth seed Juan Martin Del Potro and No 7 Andy Roddick also advanced. Nadal, who will play Dmitry Tursunov in the third round, broke Berrer in the first game and dominated the German from the baseline while outclassing him in every department. "For me, it was perfect," Nadal said. "I played a very comfortable match.
"I had the break in the first game in both sets, so that's really important. I felt well on court, playing good." Djokovic, the third seed from Serbia, was never at his fluent best but eased past Vassallo Arguello to book a clash with Tommy Haas. After trading early breaks, Djokovic broke the Argentine's serve for the second time in the 11th game, and served out for the set. The vital break in the second set came in the seventh game and Djokovic held the advantage to clinch victory.
Djokovic has been struggling to repeat the form he showed in the first few months of 2008, when he won his first grand slam title at the Australian Open and then triumphed in Indian Wells. A switch in rackets in the off-season left him low on confidence but after winning the title in Dubai last month, the world No 3 believes he is getting back on track. "The quality is there. The game is there. The fitness is getting much better. It's just a mental ability to play the best tennis," he said.
Del Potro beat the American Ryan Sweeting 6-7, 6-3, 6-1 while the seventh-seeded Andy Roddick ousted Austrian Daniel Koellerer 6-1, 7-6. "I played okay. There's certainly room for improvement, but a win is a win," Roddick said. David Nalbandian, David Ferrer, Nicolas Kiefer and Stanislas Wawrinka all advanced to the third round. * Reuters