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Nadal cruises in Barcelona Open, Murray gets walkover

Spain’s Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas during the final of Monte-Carlo ATP Masters Series Tournament tennis match, on April 23, 2017 in Monaco © AFP/File / Yann COATSALIOU

BARCELONA, Spain, Apr 26Rafael Nadal began his quest for a 10th Barcelona Open title in commanding fashion, whilst Andy Murray moved into the last 16 without hitting a ball on Wednesday.

Fresh from winning a record 50th clay court title at the Monte Carlo Masters on Sunday, Nadal swept aside Brazilian Rogerio Dutra Silva 6-1, 6-2 in his first appearance on the newly-baptised Rafael Nadal court.

“An honour to see this,” Nadal tweeted before the match on a rain-interrupted day in the Catalan capital alongside a picture of the court’s new title.

“The first match in any tournament is difficult, but it all went well,” added Nadal.

“The court was very slow and the conditions weren’t how I like, but it was a solid match.”

Nadal will face South African Kevin Anderson on Thursday.

Britain’s Andy Murray hits a return to Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas during their Monte-Carlo ATP Masters Series tennis tournament on April 20, 2017 in Monaco © AFP/File / Yann COATSALIOU

Murray had an even easier route into the next round as Bernard Tomic pulled out of their second-round clash with a back injury.

The world number one was a late entry into the draw after suffering a shock defeat in Monte Carlo to Albert Ramos-Vinolas last week as he seeks time on court after recently returning from an elbow injury.

However, the Scot will have to wait until Thursday to begin his campaign against Feliciano Lopez, who eased past fellow Spaniard Albert Montanes 6-2, 6-2.

Fifth seed David Goffin, who fell to Nadal in the semi-finals in Monte Carlo last week, remained on course for another last-four meeting with the 14-time Grand Slam champion after a 7-5, 6-0 win over Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili.

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