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No sweat for Nadal in Californian desert

dpa logodpa 12/03/2017

Rafael Nadal has thrashed Argentinian Guido Pella in the second round of the Indian Wells Masters.

Rafael Nadal has easily accounted for Guido Pella in the second round of the ATP Tour's Indian Wells Masters in California.

The 14-time grand slam champion - unable to train for two days this week due to illness - breezed to a 6-3 6-2 triumph over the Argentinian on Sunday.

"I didn't try to do amazing things, I tried to play solid," the Spaniard said.

"I tried to find the rhythm, and I think I did.

"I'm satisfied from the beginning of the season since the first match of the year. I've not played one very bad match during the whole season."

Nadal is grouped in the so-called "quarter of death" at the Tennis Garden, along with fellow elites Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer all nestled at the bottom of the draw.

Nadal and his Swiss rival could possibly meet in the fourth round if both advance.

Nadal, runner-up at Acapulco to Sam Querrey, has not won a hardcourt title since Doha in 2014; the 30-year-old has played in 30 hardcourt tournaments since then.

Australian Open winner Federer was later making his start against Frenchman Stephane Robert.

Between them, Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have won 12 of the last 13 tournament editions; this year, only one of them can reach the semi-finals, where top seed Andy Murray will be missing after crashing out to Canadian qualifier Vasek Pospisil in a second-round upset.

In other matches, Japan's fourth seed Kei Nishikori advanced, beating Briton Dan Evans 6-3 6-4 while Bulgarian 12th seed Grigor Dimitrov hammered Russian Mikhail Youzhny 6-4 6-0.

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