The top-ranked tennis player in the world defeated Ryan Sweeting in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, Tuesday on Centre Court in the tournament's second round.
Nadal, the defending champ, is gunning for his third Wimbledon championship.
The Spaniard, who beat Sweeting, who is American, for the third time this year without losing a set, had only seven unforced errors to go with his 38 winners. Nadal broke Sweeting five times and lost serve just once.
"I was playing very well," said Nadal, who finished in style on the last two points with a running backhand passing shot down the line and a forehand volley into the open court. "The second and beginning of the third I had the match completely under control, but he had a few good shots."
Also advancing was fourth-seeded Andy Murray, who beat Tobias Kamke of Germany 6-3, 6-3, 7-5. The 24-year-old British player never lost serve, saving the only break point he faced, as he again pursues his bid to become the first homegrown male champion here since Fred Perry in 1936.
In women's play, Venus Williams defeated Kimiko Date-Krumm 6-7 (6), 6-3, 8-6.
"It was tough. She came out and I just couldn't seem to get a game," Williams said. "She played so well and before I knew it the ball was past me every time in the first set."
It was the first time the two players — who have a combined age of 71 — have met in their long careers.
"She runs down every ball," Williams said. "She hits every ball basically on the baseline, hard and flat. If you get it anywhere near the midcourt, she hits for the corners and comes to the net.
"I thought she played unbelievable today. I thought she had some luck on her side, too, with net cords, balls hitting lines. I just thought today was a perfect storm for her to try to get a win. Thankfully, I had some answers."
Williams, who turned 31 last week and is playing in her 15th straight Wimbledon, was pushed to the limit. Date-Krumm kept her off balance by ripping back her serves, hitting flat groundstrokes from corner to corner and sneaking into the net for drop volleys.
The 57th-ranked Date-Krumm made her Wimbledon debut in 1989, reached the semifinals in 1996 and retired later that year until her return in 2008.
"I played my tennis and (showed) I can fight with Venus also," Date-Krumm said. "She's a five-time champion here. She's a great player. So I can fight with her. It was a very, very good match for me."
With rain pounding on the translucent roof, Williams and Date-Krumm put on a fighting display of competitive tennis. The first set lasted 65 minutes, the third went 69 minutes. By comparison, Venus won her first match against Akgul Amanmuradova on Monday in 59 minutes.
"Obviously I'd prefer to win in straight sets with no breaks but against a player like her today, right until the end she was attacking," Williams said. "Even that last shot I thought I hit a great approach and she almost hit a passing shot, so that was the story of the match but I'm really glad I was able to serve well, I think that really got me through."
It was the third match played under the roof this week, with the tournament schedule already disrupted by rain. The roof was installed before the 2009 tournament and had been rarely used until this week. Matches eventually began after 3 p.m. on the outside courts Wednesday after the showers let up.
"It was awesome to be able to play," Williams said. "It was raining out there. It's definitely a little bit warmer and having not played on Centre Court without the roof I don't know if it was faster or not but it's fantastic that we have it."
The roof remained over Centre Court for Nadal's match, then was opened for Andy Roddick's match against Victor Hanescu.
"The Wimbledon Centre Court with the roof or without the roof, is probably the best court of the world," Nadal said. "It's always a pleasure playing in this court. For me today is a new experience."
Nadal's next opponent will be Gilles Muller, who advanced after big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic retired while leading 3-2 in the first set Wednesday. The 31st-seeded Raonic, who led the men's tour with 504 aces in 36 matches coming into Wimbledon, had been considered a threat on grass.
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.