Nadal, Federer roll in Paris MastersTop-seeded Rafael Nadal didn’t play his best tennis Wednesday but still found a way to reach the third round of the Paris Masters, while Roger Federer qualified for the ATP Finals for the 12th straight year.
Nadal beat Marcel Granollers, 7-5, 7-5, in an all-Spanish meeting and Federer defeated Kevin Anderson of South Africa, 6-4, 6-4.
“I didn’t play well tonight,” Nadal said. “Something that can happen after two weeks without playing and after a long time without playing on this kind of surface.”
Nadal broke for a 6-5 lead in each set and clinched the victory when Granollers sent a forehand wide. The match stats pointed to a narrow margin of victory, with Nadal hitting 20 winners to 15 for Granollers and making 23 unforced errors compared to 22 for his opponent.
Nadal was playing at the Paris Masters for the first time since 2009. He missed the tournament for the past three years because of injuries or fatigue.
The U.S. Open champion is seeking a record sixth Masters title in a single season. He will next play last year’s runner-up, Jerzy Janowicz of Poland.
Nadal unseated Novak Djokovic atop the rankings by reaching the final of the China Open in October. He now has a 30-2 record on hard courts this year.
Federer has had a rough season by his own high standards, losing in the second round at Wimbledon and in the fourth round at the U.S. Open to drop to No. 6 in the rankings.
Anderson shanked a forehand to drop serve in the opening game, and Federer hit a forehand winner to take the first set.
The fifth-seeded Swiss then took a 5-1 lead in the second set and held off a late charge from Anderson to clinch the victory when the South African’s backhand sailed wide.
Defending champion David Ferrer, Juan Martin del Potro and Stanislas Wawrinka also moved into the third round.
Ferrer of Spain overcame Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic, 6-0, 2-6, 6-3, and del Potro beat Marin Cilic of Croatia, 6-4, 7-6 (3). AP