Madrid, Spain (SportsNetwork.com) - Three-time champion Rafael Nadal and 2008 winner Andy Murray were a pair of second-round winners Wednesday at the $5 million Madrid Open, an ATP Masters 1000 event.
The world No. 1 superstar Nadal blew past helpless Argentine Juan Monaco 6-1, 6-0 in 68 minutes on the red clay at the Magic Box.
"Each victory helps to raise your confidence," Nadal said. "I started a little nervously in my movement. But I got better, and now I just have to prepare for tomorrow."
Nadal, who failed to title in his last two clay court events in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, beat Swiss Stan Wawrinka in last year's Madrid finale. His third-round opponent on Thursday will be fellow left-hander, Jarkko Nieminen.
In addition to his titles in 2005, 2010 and last year, Nadal was also a Madrid runner-up in 2009 and 2011.
The seventh-seeded Murray held off Spaniard and recent Houston clay court runner-up Nicolas Almagro 6-1, 1-6, 6-4. Murray captured this event six years ago when it was staged on a hardcourt surface.
In other action involving top-10 seeds, No. 6 Czech and 2012 runner-up Tomas Berdych improved to 11-0 lifetime against tall South African Kevin Anderson with a 6-1, 6-4 victory and No. 9 towering American John Isner swatted 23 aces in outlasting Aussie lucky loser Marinko Matosevic 7-6 (11-9), 6-7 (5-7), 7-5 in 2 hours, 38 minutes. Isner recorded the lone break of the match in the final game of the bout.
Meanwhile, Colombian Santiago Giraldo knocked out 11th-seeded Frenchman Jo- Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 6-3, 12th-seeded rising Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov came from behind to best Romanian wild card Marius Copil 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (9-7) and Spain's Feliciano Lopez fought back to upend 15th-seeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Also in the second round at this French Open tune-up, Polish lucky loser Lukasz Kubot topped Frenchman and 2008 Madrid runner-up Gilles Simon 7-5, 2-6, 6-4; Nieminen drubbed Dutch qualifier Igor Sijsling 6-3, 6-2; Latvian Ernests Gulbis doused Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 6-4; and Marin Cilic got past French qualifier Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4, 1-6, 6-2. Kubot replaced three-time Madrid titlist Roger Federer in the draw after the Swiss icon pulled out of the field to be with his wife, Mirka, when she gave birth to twin boys on Tuesday.
Thursday's key third-round matches will pit Nadal against Nieminen, fifth- seeded 2013 French Open runner-up David Ferrer versus Isner, last week's Portugal Open runner-up Berdych against Dimitrov and Murray versus the qualifier Giraldo.