Rafael Nadal beats qualifier Matthew Ebden at Queen's

AEGON CHAMPIONSHIPS

Venue:
Queen's Tennis Club, London
Date:
6-12 June
Coverage:
Live coverage on BBC Two, online (UK only) and BBC HD and text commentary (#bbctennis) on BBC Sport website; and commentary on Radio 5 live and sports extra
Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal effortlessly reached the third round of Queen's with a straight-forward 6-4 6-4 victory over Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden.

Fatigue did not seem to overly trouble Sunday's French Open champion as he broke in the opening game against an opponent ranked 168th in the world.

Nadal, hoping to reclaim a title he won in 2008, broke early in the second set and easily served out the match.

"I feel a little tired," said the Spaniard. "I had a tough French Open."

The top seed admitted adjusting to his first singles match on grass this year was tricky, saying: "It's never easy at the start of the grass-court season.

"Everything is completely different, and you don't have a lot of days to adapt to the different surface.

"It's not enough, but I've progressed. I am a little bit tired because I had a tough Roland Garros and clay-court season but I am here to try my best like always."

Ebden served well throughout but offered little in the way of a real threat, apart from a solitary break-back point at 3-2 in the second set, which Nadal saved easily.

The world number one will play Radek Stepanek in the third round, after the Czech player fought back to beat Croat 16th seed Ivan Ljubicic 0-6 7-5 6-4.

The ATP confirmed on Wednesday night that Nadal's victory over Ebden means he has enough ranking points to secure a place at this year's World Tour Finals.

Nadal, the beaten finalist in 2010, joins Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic in qualifying for the event, to be held in November at The O2 in London.

Former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro joined Nadal in round three with a 6-4 6-4 victory over Igor Kunitsyn, and will play either Gilles Simon or Adrian Mannarino.

And eighth seed Marin Cilic beat French veteran Arnaud Clement 6-4 6-4 in a rain-affected match.

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Tired Nadal happy to beat Ebden

Cilic, who has slipped from a regular top-10 ranking spot to world number 27, did not lose his rhythm when weather intervened in the second set.

The Croat, who reached the last eight at Queen's in 2007, clinched his first win for a month with ease.

"I played well from the back of the court," he said.

"The first week on the grass is the toughest, you want to play as many matches as possible to adjust. I thought I controlled [the match] well in the second set. I played some pretty good points."

Elsewhere, David Nalbandian defeated Serbian qualifier Ilija Bozoljac 6-4 6-4, and Kevin Anderson overcame Donald Young 6-2 6-4 to set up a clash with Andy Roddick.

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