Nadal in no mood for any surprises

RAFAEL Nadal avoided the same fate which befell Roger Federer as he strolled through a potentially tricky Rome Masters second-round match against Philipp Kohlschreiber.

World No1 Federer was subjected to a humbling 2-6, 6-1, 7-5 defeat by Ernests Gulbis on Tuesday, but Nadal was quick out of the blocks yesterday and sealed a 6-1, 6-3 win over the hard-working German.

Defending champion Nadal continued the excellent form he showed in winning the Monte Carlo Masters as he dominated the first set.

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The Spaniard chose not to play in Barcelona last week so as not to put too much strain on his fragile knees, but there was little sign of any injury worry here. The third seed was dominant on serve, winning 86 per cent of first-serve points, while breaking twice as Kohlschreiber failed to show the form which embarrassed Andy Murray in Monaco.

Nadal, the champion here for four of the last five years, next faces Romanian Victor Hanescu.

Murray is expected on court today for a third-round clash against either Spain's David Ferrer or Italian wildcard Potito Starace, who were in second-round action last night.