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World No.1 Rafael Nadal opened his account with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Austrian Jurgen Melzer.
The 22 year-old improves his clay streak to 31 matches unbeaten, including 17 match wins this year. His last loss on clay was to Juan Carlos Ferrero who defeated him in Rome last year. The left-hander also improves his record agaisnt left-handed players with his last loss coming to Australian Chris Guccione in 2007.
Melzer managed to stay level with Nadal in the first three games until the Spaniard stepped up a notch to break serve twice in the seventh and ninth game to win the first set 6-3. A further two breaks in the second set was enough to seal Nadal’s 39th victory of the year.
The Mallorca native next faces Philipp Kohlschreiber who has never beaten Nadal in four previous attempts.