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Rafael Nadal defeated Benoit Paire to move on to last 16 of Madrid Open.
Fifth seed Nadal, who has won the event twice, had to work to overcome the world No 37, but eventually did enough to win in straight sets 6-3 6-4.
Breaking the Frenchman’s services in both sets proved enough for the Spaniard to win, but it took 90 minutes as Paire had Nadal in some uncomfortable places throughout the match.
However, the 11-time grand slam winner moved with conviction and eventually found his groove in the sixth game of the opening set, connecting with a forehand winner to break for 4-2.
In the next game, Nadal was handed a code violation in the next game for seemingly taking his time between points, but did not let it rattle him as he served out for the set.
Early in the second set, Paire pressured Nadal as the latter gave up a break point opportunity in the fourth game.
However, the underdog could not capitalise and gave the momentum back to Nadal, who finally broke the deadlock to move 5-4.
He then served for the match and booked his place in the third round as he awaits the winner of Mikhail Youzhny and Nicolas Almagro.