Nadal cruises in Madrid opener

Spanish hero Rafael Nadal was an easy second-round winner at the $4.425 million Madrid Open.

After receiving a first-round bye, the fifth-seeded former world No. 1 star handled Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-4 Wednesday on the red clay at The Magic Box.

The hot Nadal is now a gaudy 27-2 this season and seeking a fifth title in his seventh tournament of 2013. He titled in Barcelona just two weeks ago.

The reigning French Open king is a two-time Madrid titlist and two-time runner-up in the Spanish capital.

Meanwhile, sixth-seeded 2012 Madrid runner-up Tomas Berdych overcame 6-foot-8 Pole Jerzy Janowicz 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 6-2 to secure his 400th career ATP match win, seventh-seeded French star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga got past Dutch qualifier Robin Haase 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-2), and resurgent 13th seed Tommy Haas topped wild card and long-time Spanish favorite Tommy Robredo 6-3, 7-5. The 35-year- old Haas is fresh off his clay-court championship in Munich in his native Germany last week.

The Czech slugger Berdych lost to three-time champion Roger Federer in last year's Madrid Open finale.

Also on Day 4, 14th-seeded quality Japanese Kei Nishikori drubbed Serb Viktor Troicki 7-5, 6-2 and big-serving South African Kevin Anderson edged out Argentine Juan Monaco 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 6-4 at this French Open tune-up. Nishikori is rewarded with a third-round match against the great Federer.