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Nadal opens clay season with easy win

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, file)

MONACO (AP) Back on his favorite surface, Rafael Nadal showed no lingering effects of a recent injury as he breezed into the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters on Wednesday with a 6-1, 6-1 win against Roberto Bautista Agut.

Nadal was making his season debut on clay and playing his first match since suffering a knee injury at Indian Wells one month ago , but the defending champion looked sharp from the start and secured an early break of serve for 2-0.

Aside from having to save five break points across two games - at 0-40 down in the fourth game and at 15-40 in the sixth- Nadal was otherwise untroubled by his Spanish countryman. The 17-time Grand Slam champion converted his first match point when he met his opponent's strong forehand with a crisp volley at the net.

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2019 ATP Rankings
Rank Player Points
1 N. Djokovic 11,070
2 R. Nadal 8,725
3 A. Zverev 6,040
4 R. Federer 5,590
5 D. Thiem 4,765
6 K. Nishikori 4,200
7 K. Anderson 4,115
8 S. Tsitsipas 3,240
9 J. Del Potro 3,225
10 J. Isner 3,085
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2019 WTA Rankings
Rank Player Points
1 N. Osaka 5,967
2 S. Halep 5,782
3 P. Kvitova 5,645
4 K. Pliskova 5,580
5 A. Kerber 5,220
6 E. Svitolina 5,020
7 K. Bertens 4,640
8 S. Stephens 4,386
9 A. Barty 4,275
10 A. Sabalenka 3,520
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