Tennis

Nadal overcomes Paire to reach Rogers Cup last 16

Nadal overcomes Paire to reach Rogers Cup last 16

World number one Rafael Nadal rolled into the last 16 of the ATP Rogers Cup after defeating Benoit Paire in straight sets.

Top seed Nadal was back in action in Toronto for the first time since his five-set semi-final defeat to Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic at the All England Club last month.

And the three-time Rogers Cup champion made a triumphant return as he saw off fiery Frenchman Paire 6-2 6-3 on Wednesday.

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It was one-way traffic early as 17-time grand slam winner Nadal raced out to a 3-0 lead inside nine minutes midweek.

Paire – whose epic tantrum cost him a point and two racquets at the Citi Open last week – was not short of effort but he only managed to win three points from 15 during that period.

Nadal converted a pair of break points and saved two of his own as he closed out the first set in 38 minutes.

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There were signs of life from Paire in the second set as Nadal charged towards the finish line at 2-0, the former breaking at 0-40 to avoid a bagel.

Paire continued to fight with holds of serve at a premium, the 29-year-old producing some sublime winners to halt Nadal.

But there was no denying Nadal, the Spaniard – who ended a run of seven successive breaks – responded to every challenge as he seeks a fourth Canadian title and first since 2013.

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