Nadal makes encouraging start in Monte Carlo


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.