2/28/13 1:22 PM | Cheryl Murray
Rafael Nadal gave the best performance since his return in a straight-set victory over Martin Alund.
Two weeks ago, Martin Alund managed to grab a set from Rafael Nadal, where the Argentine qualifier played well enough to find his way into the Sao Paolo semifinals. This week, however, Alund found out what it was like to play a Nadal whose top form is returning; instead of a set, Alund snagged just four games in a 6-0, 6-4 rout by the Spaniard.
The first-set bagel was a result of Nadal playing well and Alund playing poorly. The Spaniard did what he normally does on a clay court; he bullied Alund around the baseline with heavy, deep forehands. But perhaps the best news for the Nadal camp is that his movement looked unhampered by pain.
Alund played much better in the second set. The Argentine hit much harder and with more accuracy than he did in the first set, making for a much more entertaining set for the fans. Still, Nadal was never anything but in complete control of the match. The No. 2 seed scrambled easily to the net to chase down drop shots, and he was able to to take an aggressive position on the court, all good news for the Nadal camp.
Nadal will take on Leonardo Mayer in the quarterfinals.
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