Write an Article

Nadal celebrates routine success over Sela

A four-time runner-up at the Miami Open, Rafael Nadal began his 2017 campaign with a straight-sets triumph over Dudi Sela.

Rafael Nadal - cropped
Rafael Nadal playing against Dudi Sela in Miami

Rafael Nadal had little trouble in booking his place in the third round of the Miami Open, easing past Dudi Sela 6-3 6-4 on Friday.

Seeded fifth for the ATP 1000 event, Nadal enjoyed the luxury of a first-round bye while his opponent thrashed qualifier Christian Harrison 6-1 6-1 in just 52 minutes.

The Spaniard is a four-time runner-up at this tournament but with no Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic in Florida, may fancy his chances of breaking his duck this time around as the 30-year-old's renaissance continues.

Nadal breezed through the first set with ease, holding to love in the first service game to set the tone and not giving his opponent any break-point opportunities throughout the opener.

Sela struggled as his opponent came in off the baseline, taking the Israeli's one-handed backhand high and early with hard, flat returns to break him in fourth game. 

Nadal's trademark booming forehand succeeded in pushing Sela out of position, prompting a series of mistakes from the world number 83 as he fought hard to match the brute strength on show across the net. 

Sela lifted in the second set and this time he was the one to hold to love in the opening service game, before making Nadal fight hard to keep it on serve.

Indeed, the world number seven was forced to rescue two break points in game six before converting one of his own courtesy of a cross-court forehand as Sela wilted.

A simple backhand volley handed Nadal the match to cap an impressive performance and set up a third-round meeting with Philipp Kohlschreiber.

 

 

Fetching more content...