Despite several rain delays, Rafael Nadal got off to a speedy start at the Rogers Cup with a 6-2 6-3 win over Frenchman Benoit Paire on Wednesday.
World No 1 Nadal, who kicked off the evening session a little over an hour after its original start time, needed only 74 minutes to secure his spot in the third round.
The Spaniard came out firing a dazzling array of shots that had Paire racing around the blue hard court from the outset and even desperately launching his racquet on one occasion in a failed attempt at a return that gave the Spaniard a 5-2 lead.
Nadal was made to work harder in the second where the players exchanged breaks over six consecutive games before the world No 1 finally held in the ninth to seal the match when Paire sent a service return wide.
“Of course I was not at 100 percent today,” Nadal, 32, told reporters. “It’s true that with my serve in the second set I had some troubles but my return was working well … it was more about the mistakes from the baseline in my opinion.”
Nadal will face Stanislas Wawrinka in the round of 16 after the Swiss rallied to beat Hungarian Marton Fucsovics 1-6 7-6(2) 7-6(10).
Earlier in the day, a resurgent Novak Djokovic kept his bid for a fifth Rogers Cup title alive with a 6-3 6-4 win over Canadian wildcard Peter Polansky.
The ninth-seeded Serb, competing in his first tournament since his Wimbledon triumph last month, won a dominant 83 percent of his first service points and wrapped up the day’s opening match minutes before the first of several rain delays.
Next up for Djokovic in the round of 16 is Greek teenager Stefanos Tsitsipas, who upset Austrian seventh seed Dominic Thiem 6-3 7-6(6).