Nadal makes encouraging start in Monte Carlo

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Rafael Nadal showed why he has enjoyed so much Monte Carlo Masters success by easing into the third round at the expense of Aljaz Bedene on Wednesday.

Nadal has won a record eight titles in the glitzy principality and the fifth seed started his quest to claim a ninth by seeing off unseeded Brit Bedene 6-3 6-3 on Court Rainier III.

The 14-time grand-slam champion revealed he had struggled with dizziness after retiring from his second-round match against Damir Dzumhur at the Miami Open last month, but has made a full recovery on the evidence of his performance at the Monte Carlo Country Club.

Nadal improved his record in this tournament to 54-4 with an impressive display, winding up with some powerful backhands and deft drop shots.

The Spaniard, who will go in search of a 10th French Open title next month, quickly opened up a 5-1 lead and the 'King of Clay' sealed the first set after Bedene showed some resistance to break back at 5-2.

World number five Nadal took advantage of Bedene's service struggles at the start of the second to go a break up.

Two further breaks for Nadal were sandwiched by a loss of his own serve as he cruised through to set up a third-round match against Dominic Thiem.