Rafael Nadal booked his place in the third round of the Barcelona Open after a straight sets win over Albert Ramos.
It was a tough match for the world number one as he trailed in the opening set and needed the aid of a physical trainer to help him finish the contest.
His fellow countryman got off to the better start to take a 2-0 lead but Nadal broke back straight after. Each player broke again as the first set went to a tie break which the Spanish number one finished off after just over an hour.
The second set was easier for the first seed but the umpire penalised him on a couple of occasions for being too slow between points on his serve. Nadal has come out before in regard to the time violation rule which states that players can take no longer than 25 seconds between points.
As a result of his second offence, Nadal was forced to concede a point which gave Ramos a temporary break point in the second set.
Nadal won the match 7-6, 6-4 and will be relieved to make it through after earlier scares for other Spanish competitors. Second seed David Ferrer crashed out to Teymuraz Gabashvili and Feliciano Lopez, Marcel Granollers and Roberto Bautista Agut were also knocked out. 31-year-old Tommy Robredo marched on.
This is Nadal's 40th consecutive win in the Barcelona Open, however he doesn't appear to be in the same vein of form as he was last year when he returned from injury. Last week he was knocked out in the quarter-finals in Monte Carlo to Ferrer and was on court for almost two hours today in his first match of the week.
With Ferrer out of the competition, the next highest contender is Kei Nishikori who came past Agut and is having an impressive season with a title already under his belt and a semi-final appearance at the Miami Masters.
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